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The Boston Globe

Metro

N.E. coastal communities prepare for Hurricane Arthur

People ran through a downpour Thursday night in Cambridge following fireworks on the Esplanade in Boston.

Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff

People ran through a downpour Thursday night in Cambridge following fireworks on the Esplanade in Boston.

BOSTON — Parts of coastal New England could see heavy rain and strong winds from Hurricane Arthur.

After hitting the North Carolina coast Friday morning, the storm weakened to Category 1.

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Forecasters have issued tropical storm warnings for Nantucket Island and parts of Cape Cod on Friday.

Arthur, which began Thursday in the Carolinas, is expected to pass east of New England beginning Friday night.

The National Weather Service said sustained winds of 35 to 45 mph are expected to begin early Friday evening, with gusts up to 50 mph, as Arthur passes between 70 and 80 miles south of Nantucket on Friday night. A storm surge up to 2 feet is possible with some coastal erosion.

Heavy rains began and wind Thursday night in advance of the actual storm, causing problems across the state, including large trees and branches falling on roads. NSTAR reported about 9,300 outages at about 4 a.m. Friday; National Grid reported about 8,200 outages.

The likelihood of severe weather prompted communities across coastal Massachusetts to cancel or reschedule Independence Day festivities.

On Cape Cod, Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard, officials in many communities said they’d hold morning parades, but postpone evening fireworks displays.

The historic port city of New Bedford in southeastern Massachusetts said it would push its fireworks display to Saturday.

And in Boston, the annual Boston Pops outdoor concert and fireworks show, one of the city’s signature events, was moved up a day to Thursday. Even still, the concert, which featured the Beach Boys and Broadway star Megan Hilty, was cut short.

State police ordered the thousands of concertgoers to quickly clear the area after the final fireworks. But within minutes the skies opened up with heavy rain drenching thousands as lightning flashed in the distance.

Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh has revised and condensed the city’s events for July 4, calling off a flag raising ceremony and parade.

A reading of the Declaration of Independence will still take place Friday morning inside the city’s historic Faneuil Hall, as part of an oration ceremony that has been held there since 1783.

Weather for the rest of the holiday weekend promises to be seasonably sunny and hot.

There is a likelihood of high waves, strong undertow and riptides, so local officials have warned beachgoers to be cautious.

The Coast Guard urged boaters to heed small craft advisories and stay off the water.

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