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A strengthening Hurricane Arthur forced thousands of vacationers on the North Carolina coast to abandon their Independence Day plans while cities farther up the East Coast rescheduled fireworks displays threatened by rain from the storm.
Rain is coming down at a pretty good pace in Baltimore now and looks like precip continues pretty steady and heavy into early this afternoon.
Hurricane Irene began lashing the East Coast with rain Friday ahead of a weekend of violent weather that was almost certain to heap punishment on a vast stretch of shoreline from the Carolinas to Massachusetts.
All along the East Coast, officials are calculating what they need to do if Irene becomes the first major hurricane to strike there in seven years. A hurricane watch was issued Thursday for much of the North Carolina coast.