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USA: Tropical Storm Arthur threatens July 4th plans along East Coast

By Fox News — last modified Jul 02, 2014 10:47 AM
Fourth of July plans along the eastern seaboard are under threat as Tropical Storm Arthur - the first named storm of 2014 - moves northward, forecasters warn. As reported by www.foxnews.com

Published: 2014-07-02 23:00:00
Topics: Weather
Countries: USA

A hurricane watch was issued for part of North Carolina's coast early Wednesday, covering an area from Bogue Inlet to Oregon Inlet, including Pamlico Sound. A tropical storm watch was in effect for parts of Florida and South Carolina.

The storm's maximum sustained winds early Wednesday were near 60 mph (95 kph). The U.S. National Hurricane Center said Arthur was expected to strengthen and become a hurricane by Thursday.

With the July Fourth weekend on the horizon, the Atlantic hurricane season's first named storm plodded off Florida's coast but wasn't yet spooking too many in the storm's potential path.

"I think everybody's keeping one eye on the weather and one eye on the events this weekend," said Joe Marinelli, president of Visit Savannah, the city's tourism bureau.

Arthur was centered about 90 miles (145 kilometers) east of Cape Canaveral, Florida, early Wednesday and was moving north near 6 mph (9 kph). The Hurricane Center urged those as far north as parts of Virginia to monitor Tropical Storm Arthur's path.

The system has sent a lot of moisture to South Florida already, the Miami Herald reported. On Monday, parts of Miami Beach received as much as 3.5 inches, while the Doral area also topped three inches and Miami International Airport received less than two inches.

Off Florida's Space Coast beaches — the closest to Arthur — the sky was cloudy and winds fairly normal Tuesday, said Eisen Witcher, assistant chief of Brevard County Ocean Rescue.

Red flags warned of rough surf, and beachgoers were advised to get into the water only in areas with staffed lifeguard stands. But overall, Witcher said, "it's business as usual."

Red flags also flew Tuesday at Daytona Beach. By midday, a dozen swimmers had been aided by lifeguards when they got caught in a rip current. On any given day, 15 to 20 swimmers need help, said Tammy Marris, spokeswoman for the Volusia County Beach Patrol.

Near the storm, 19 ill crew members were evacuated from a South Korean cargo ship after they showed signs of food poisoning. The cargo ship JS Comet was anchored 3 miles off Cape Canaveral, and the Coast Guard reported that deteriorating weather conditions were one factor in the decision to evacuate.

In North Carolina's Outer Banks, officials said they would close Cape Lookout National Seashore at 5 p.m. Wednesday and reopen when it's safe.

Read the rest of this report at www.foxnews.com

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