“Our major goal is to ensure that no lives are lost during this upcoming storm,” including those of emergency workers, McCrory said.
The forecast did not call for a landfall in the U.S., but officials and travelers north to New England kept an eye on the storm’s projected path. Many areas warned of upcoming rain, wind and potential rip tides.
In Boston, officials said the July 4th Boston Pops concert was being rescheduled to Thursday, what appears to be the best of two potential bad weather days - although it could also be canceled on that day if the weather is bad enough, said State Police Col. Timothy Alben.
The performance takes place in the Hatch Shell along the Charles River Esplanade. Fireworks are set off from barges on the river. Thousands of people usually attend.
Arthur is expected to pass well east of New England over the weekend.
By Wednesday night, the storm was 180 miles southeast of Charleston, South Carolina, and about 405 miles southwest of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. It was moving north about 8 mph with maximum sustained winds of 70 mph. The National Hurricane Center predicted it would grow to a Category 1 hurricane with sustained winds of at least 74 mph either late Wednesday or sometime Thursday.
The worst of the storm should occur at Cape Hatteras about dawn Friday, with 3 to 5 inches of rain and sustained winds up to 85 mph, said Tony Saavedra, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service. But forecasters said that by later Friday, the effects of Arthur would be past the Outer Banks, with the rest of the weekend salvaged.
The Hurricane Center predicted the storm would be off the coast of New England later in the day and eventually make landfall in Canada’s maritime provinces as a tropical storm.
In the Myrtle Beach area, the heart of South Carolina’s $18 billion tourism industry, Arthur was expected to move in by Thursday night, spinning wind gusts from 40 to 50 mph toward the high-rise hotels and condominiums lining the oceanfront.
Farther south, in Hilton Head Island on the state’s southern tip, most were confident would pass well out at sea.
“It will be a sold-out weekend,” said Charlie Clark, a spokeswoman for the local Chamber of Commerce. “… We’re not getting calls from visitors asking what’s up with this storm.”