Arthur Strengthens Into Hurricane, Takes Aim at North Carolina

Tropical Storm Arthur strengthened into a Category 1 hurricane early Thursday as it moved steadily toward the North Carolina coast.

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Arthur had registered maximum sustained winds of 75 mph and was about 190 miles south-southeast of Cape Fear, North Carolina, the National Hurricane Center said at 4:50 a.m. ET.

Kei Uesugi | Stone | Getty Images

Arthur is the first hurricane of the 2014 Atlantic season. Several hurricane warnings were in place across North Carolina and residents of one barrier island in the Outer Banks were ordered to evacuate.

It is expected to hit the Outer Banks on Thursday night—bringing up to four inches of rain—before making its closest approach to Massachusetts' Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard, and Nantucket Island late Friday or early Saturday, according to the Weather Channel.

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Officials in Boston decided to move the annual Boston Pops July 4th concert and fireworks show up by a day because of potential heavy rain Friday night, and rip tides were a threat as far north as New Jersey.

By Alastair Jamieson, NBC News. The Associated Press contributed to this report.