Arthur could spare fireworks

Published 9:40 pm Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Tropical storm conditions in Suffolk could blow in and blow out in time for nighttime Independence Day festivities, according to the National Weather Service.

“The main threat of rain is late tomorrow (Thursday) through Friday,” Matt Scalora with the service’s regional office in Wakefield said on Wednesday. “Expect the rain to last through Friday morning and then clear. There will be gusty winds, but nothing too strong.”

A National Weather Service report on Tropical Storm Arthur issued Wednesday morning predicted 1 to 2 inches of rain for Suffolk with wind between 10 and 30 miles per hour, with gusts as high as 35 mph. The wind should decrease around Friday afternoon, the report said.

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A storm surge of up to one foot, with no associated flooding, is expected, the report added. Flooded roads in areas of poor drainage are a possibility, however.

On Wednesday, a tropical storm warning already was in effect for much of northeast North Carolina and in Hampton Roads as far west as Chesapeake. No watches or warnings had yet been issued for Suffolk as of Wednesday evening.

Arthur is expected to become a Category 1 hurricane Thursday along the coast of South Carolina.

Organizers of Friday’s special events in Suffolk to mark the July 4 holiday said on Tuesday they plan to hold off on a decision regarding cancellations until later in the week.

The town of Windsor will hold its celebrations as scheduled, according to an announcement on its Facebook page.

“This is a good opportunity for all of us, myself included, to review our personal emergency plans and be sure we are ready for the season,” Jeff Stern, state coordinator of emergency management, said in a press release.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency issued a press release on Wednesday urging residents to continue to monitor the storm.

“As the first tropical storm of the Atlantic hurricane season, Tropical Storm Arthur serves as a reminder for residents in areas prone to tropical storms and hurricanes to refresh their emergency kits and review family plans,” the press release stated.