Tropical Storm Arthur has officially become the first big storm of the 2014 Atlantic hurricane season right before July 4th festivities are set to begin! The hurricane season began on June 1st and is set to run through a majority of the year until November 30th. A month after the season had begun, Tropical Storm Arthur threatened to gain speed and traction as it continued to grow and progress along the East coast of the United States.
Initially, Arthur was recorded to sustain winds of 75 mph, a mere 10 miles per hour away from having the same wind force that is found in a category 1 hurricane. All the while, Tropical Storm Arthur was nearing towards North Carolina at a speed of 9 mph. As the storm inched closer to the outer edges of the southern state, it continued to gain strength.
Due to the storm, certain counties in the southern states were ordered to evacuate. July 4th activities were postponed in preparation for the storms effects, which are said to range from dangerous rip currents, heavy rainfall and strong gusts of wind. On Wednesday, the North Carolina state Governor, Pat McCrory, declared an official state of emergency to brace residents for the potentially dangerous conditions.
As of early this morning, the tropical storm was officially upgraded to a hurricane. However, later throughout the day it was forecasted that Hurricane Arthur would likely be a category 2 hurricane by the time it reaches North Carolina which is categorized with winds ranging from 96-110 mph. Further along the coast in New Jersey, safety measures are being put in place against Hurricane Arthur to help avoid a potential flooding disaster that is similar to super storm Sandy, which devastated homes in the area in 2012. Organizations have been releasing hurricane preparedness tips on how to handle harmful situations that may arise during the July 4th weekend. Furthermore, officials are currently urging those who could potentially be affected by the storm to take the necessary precautions in order to maximize safety.