- Associated Press - Friday, July 4, 2014

NANTUCKET, Mass. (AP) - Kate Hamilton Pardee began organizing Nantucket’s July 4 celebrations last fall, but at the last minute Hurricane Arthur upended her carefully made plans.

As the hurricane moved up the Atlantic Coast, it skirted Cape Cod and Nantucket, where the National Weather Service issued a tropical storm warning. Officials in communities across Cape Cod pulled the plug on fireworks displays scheduled for Friday night.

“Mother Nature is her own woman,” said Pardee, director of Nantucket Visitor Services.

Arthur did far less damage than anticipated, but it still left thousands of people without power and dumped lousy Fourth of July beach weather in the Northeast.

Tropical storm force winds, of 49 mph, were reported in Nantucket and Nantucket Sound as of 9 p.m. Friday, according to the National Weather Service. A flash flood watch remains in effect until 4 a.m. Saturday for much of eastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island, and the Massachusetts State Police reported Friday there had been some flooding on the state’s roadways due to the storm, but most of it subsided by early Friday evening.

As early as Tuesday, with forecasts for the end of the week looking ominous, Pardee said she and Nantucket’s emergency services and police and fire officials decided to put off Independence Day events such as pie-eating contests, face-painting and the singing of the national anthem marking its 200th anniversary.

Fortunately, the calendar worked in organizers’ favor: Plans that fell through on Friday could still go on Saturday, when forecasters say brilliant sunshine will follow the storm.

“Everything is on for tomorrow,” Pardee said Friday.

Rescheduling the fireworks, however, must still be decided by Nantucket’s emergency services officials, she said.

For a tony tourist destination such as Nantucket, where high-end retail stores extend the season from Memorial Day to Columbus Day, the prospect of eliminating even one day of activities is difficult.

“It’s a lot of pressure making these kinds of decisions,” said Pardee, who’s been putting on fireworks displays for 22 years. “A lot of people make plans for the Fourth.”

Stephanie Correia, owner of Stephanie’s, a women’s boutique and home decor store, said year-round residents like her have faced worse, “especially after this winter, where it was storm after storm, blizzard after blizzard.”

“People who live here are accepting of crazy weather,” Correia said.

Arthur, she said, will be a 12-hour storm on the Cape and Islands and “everyone will be back in business enjoying their vacations.”

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