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Arthur Strengthens Into Hurricane, Takes Aim at North Carolina

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Hurricane Arthur gained strength Thursday as it approached North Carolina, and forecasters said it will probably be a Category 2 storm when it rakes the Outer Banks later in the day. The state activated its emergency command center and ordered some people on the islands to move inland. “Let’s hope for the best. Let’s pray for the best,” Gov. Pat McCrory told reporters.

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Arthur was packing winds of 90 mph, still a Category 1, and was about 110 miles south-southwest of Cape Fear, North Carolina, the National Hurricane Center said at 11 a.m. ET. Hurricane warnings were posted for almost the entire North Carolina coast. The Boston Pops concert, a staple of the holiday, was moved up a day because of the threat of heavy rain, and rip currents were a threat as far north as New Jersey. The hurricane center said the storm would be off the coast of New England by late Friday and make landfall as a tropical storm in the Canadian maritime provinces.

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— Erin McClam

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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