Hurricane Arthur strengthened into a Category 2 hurricane and made landfall, with maximum sustained winds of 155 kmph as it climbed up the U.S. East Coast.
The U.S. National Hurricane Centre said that little additional change in strength was expected on Friday and that the storm would begin weakening on Friday night.
Early Friday morning, Arthur was located about 60 km north-northeast of Cape Lookout and about 60 km west-southwest of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. It was moving northeast at 30 kmph.
Arthur forced thousands of vacationers in North Carolina to abandon their Independence Day plans, while cities farther up the U.S. East Coast rescheduled fireworks displays threatened by the storm.
The annual Boston Pops Fourth of July concert and fireworks show was rescheduled for Thursday because of potential heavy rain, while fireworks displays in New Jersey and Maine were postponed until later in the weekend.
Arthur is the first named storm of the Atlantic season.
Tropical storm warnings were also in effect for coastal areas in South Carolina and Virginia and as far north as Cape Cod, Massachusetts.