WASHINGTON - US state of North Carolina absorbed a direct hit from Hurricane Arthur on Friday but emerged with only minimal damage as the storm blew out to sea after some five hours, and threatened riptides and flooding from New Jersey to Massachusetts.

The first named hurricane of the Atlantic season brought flooding, beach erosion and power outages to the North Carolina coast. But no deaths or serious injuries were reported, and thousands of tourists made plans to resume July 4 weekend celebrations as sunshine returned. The storm was  expected to bring a lousy July Fourth beach day with it as it moved  offshore of the northeast coast. Forecasters did predict a second  landfall Saturday evening in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia in Canada.

Arthur struck North Carolina as a Category 2 storm with winds of 100  mph, taking about five hours to move across the far  eastern part of the state. About 40,000 people lost power, and  the rush of water from the ocean on one side and the sound on the other  side buckled part of North Carolina Highway. Dozens of workers  were heading to fix the highway, and the Department of Transportation  said it was confident the road would reopen later today as long as an  underwater sonar test of a key bridge showed no problems.

No injuries or deaths were reported. After praising emergency officials and saying the state dodged a bullet, Goernor.

McCrory noted that all of North  Carolina’s beaches were open outside of the Outer Banks and encouraged residents and visitors to enjoy the holiday. He was heading to the beach  himself for an Independence Day parade in Southport, a welcome surprise  when he expected to be stuck in Raleigh, the capital,  monitoring the storm all day. ‘The North Carolina beaches are open for business and they’re open  for tourists,’ McCrory said. ‘The umbrellas are going up as we speak  right now.’