The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

State and Nation

July 5, 2014

Arthur weakening, downgraded to tropical storm

— MANTEO, N.C. (AP) — Businesses on two of North Carolina's barrier islands hoped to salvage the rest of the holiday weekend after Arthur clipped the state without causing major damage before churning north toward Canada and losing strength early Saturday morning.

Arthur was downgraded to a tropical storm early Saturday as its winds weakened to 70 mph (110 kph). Arthur was moving at about 22 mph and located about 65 miles southwest of Yarmouth, Nova Scotia.

New England was largely spared from damage spawned by the story but some 4,000 people in Maine and another 1,000 in Vermont remained without power Saturday morning after high winds and heavy rains pounded the region. There were reports of localized flooding in coastal areas of Massachusetts and the Nova Star Ferry suspended service Friday and Saturday morning because of dangerous seas. No injuries or deaths have been reported.

A tropical storm warning was in effect for Nova Scotia, Cape Breton Island, Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick, from the U.S.-Canada border to Grand-Anse.

Meanwhile, in North Carolina, some homes and businesses were flooded, trees toppled and initially thousands were without electricity after Arthur raced through the Outer Banks on Friday, but no deaths or serious injuries were reported. Independence Day fireworks were postponed. About 20 feet of the fragile road connecting Hatteras Island with the rest of the world buckled and required repairs.

The hurricane's effects were mostly confined to Hatteras and Ocracoke islands, and some vacationers were already back on beaches to the north and south on Friday.

Gov. Pat McCrory expressed relief and started encouraging vacationers to return to the beaches, a message echoed by locals.

"This ain't no damage at all. Everybody will be able to come back probably," Lindell Fergeson of Manteo said after driving around to view the aftermath. "It just held up the Fourth (of July) for a little bit, but everything will be open again."

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