Arthur gaining strength, expected to track off the coast

Published: Tuesday, July 1, 2014 at 05:17 PM.

“We’re going to be preparing for it to be much worse than they say it will be just so we’ll be ready,” she said.

Petrosky said the city would be providing updates to local media as well as through the city’s website, Twitter account and Facebook page as warranted.

She said the city has made no decision yet on whether to postpone the Fourth of July Freedom Festival.

One thing residents can do in advance of the storm is to secure any lose items in their yards that could potentially blow around in high winds and cause damage. Those who live near storm drains can make sure they are clear of debris to allow water to flow freely and not back up into yards and streets.

Arthur is expected to develop into a hurricane by Thursday and then quickly move north to northeast, bringing it close to the Cape Fear region, Cape Lookout and the Outer Banks by early Friday morning, according to the National Hurricane Center. Currently, the storm’s center is expected to stay off the coast, but any shift slightly to the west could bring the storm on shore. Any shift east could lessen the impacts for Eastern North Carolina.

Officials are telling residents and visitors who may be planning trips to the coast for the holiday weekend to pay attention to the weather forecasts and advisories issued through the hurricane center, National Weather Service and local emergency management authorities.

Should the storm follow its current predicted path, it is expected to exit far off the coast by the middle of the day on Friday. Currently, the weather service expects mostly sunny skies for Saturday and Sunday with high temperatures in the middle to upper 80s.

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