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North Carolina towns back on beaches after Arthur passes

A police checkpoint prevents traffic from crossing the Bonner Bridge on Highway 12 while safety inspections continue following Hurricane Arthur’s impact on the Outer Banks near Nags Head, N.C., on Saturday.

Associated Press

A police checkpoint prevents traffic from crossing the Bonner Bridge on Highway 12 while safety inspections continue following Hurricane Arthur’s impact on the Outer Banks near Nags Head, N.C., on Saturday.

KILL DEVIL HILLS, N.C. — North Carolina's popular beach towns began returning to the business of recreation Saturday, after Arthur lashed the state's coast with forceful winds and heavy rain and then churned northward without leaving a trail of significant damage.

Arthur was downgraded to a tropical storm early Saturday, but the storm's near-hurricane strength winds slammed into Canada's maritime provinces, causing 135,000 customers of Nova Scotia Power to lose electricity. The utility in New Brunswick reported 115,000 outages. The storm caused flight cancellations and delays at the region's largest airport in Halifax.

New England was largely spared from damage spawned by the storm, but some 19,000 people in Maine and 1,600 in Vermont were without power after high winds and heavy rains pounded the region. No injuries or deaths had been reported.

The hurricane's effects in North Carolina were mostly confined to Hatteras and Ocracoke islands, and some vacationers were already back on beaches to the north and south on Friday. But the ocean churned by Arthur remained dangerous Saturday with the risk of rip currents able to wash swimmers to sea. That didn't stop thousands of people from enjoying the sun and sand, and leaving lifeguards to remind beachgoers of the danger.

"We're going to try to keep people out of the water and keep them safe," said David Elder, lifeguard supervisor for the town of Kill Devil Hills.

The only road onto Hatteras Island was reopened to all traffic Saturday afternoon, hours after permanent residents were allowed to return. The island was closed to visitors on Thursday.

North Carolina towns back on beaches after Arthur passes 07/05/14 [Last modified: Saturday, July 5, 2014 9:55pm]
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