Arthur bears down on North Carolina coast before tracking north along US Eastern Seaboard

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KILL DEVIL HILLS, N.C. - Hurricane Arthur is moving offshore and away from North Carolina's Outer Banks after slashing into the state's barrier islands overnight.

Duke Energy says about 22,000 are without power across the Carolinas early Friday.

Arthur strengthened to a Category 2 storm with winds of 160 miles per hour Thursday evening before passing over the southern end of the Outer Banks — a 320-kilometre string of narrow barrier islands with about 57,000 permanent residents.

The islands are susceptible to high winds, rough seas and road-clogging sands, prompting an exodus that began Wednesday night.

As of 5 a.m. EDT Friday, the hurricane is centred about 30 kilometres east of Kitty Hawk, N.C., and is moving northeast near 35 km/h.

Organizations: Duke Energy, Category 2, Kitty Hawk

Geographic location: North Carolina, KILL DEVIL HILLS

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