The main core of Hurricane Arthur’s rain bands are now buffeting the Cape Fear region. Sustained winds have ramped up – as predicted – and forecasters are now concerned about isolated tornadoes.
Arthur’s closest approach to the Cape Fear region is expected around 6 o’clock tonight – give or take an hour. That’s according to Steven Pfaff, meteorologist with the National Weather Service. And while Arthur could intensify to a Category 2 hurricane, Pfaff says that’s more likely to happen when the storm passes out of the area – leaving those Category 2 winds to blow offshore.
"Overall, the public needs to maintain a high level of situational awareness. Be prepared to act if any tornado warnings or flash flood warnings are issued. Remain vigilant and stay indoors when the wind starts to increase and avoid flooded areas."
If sustained winds do, in fact, reach 45 miles per hour in Carolina Beach, officials will close Snows Cut Bridge at 6 PM. So far, the bridges are open. But emergency management officials still ask that people ride out the storm indoors. Tomorrow is expected to bring with it beautiful weather.
The Naturalization Ceremony scheduled for tonight in Southport is canceled. But Friday's festivities – including the Southport Parade with Governor McCrory and Wilmington’s fireworks show -- will go on as planned.