Hurricane Arthur to Contribute to Rainy 4th of July

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Heavy rains and thunderstorms hit the state on Thursday and are contributing to a rainy 4th of July holiday.

     Severe thundestorm warnings were in effect for Fairfield, New Haven, Middlesex, Windham and Hartford counties early in the evening on Thursday, and Hurricane Arthur intensified to a category 2 hurricane as it heads toward the North Carolina coast.

    A flood watch is in effect Friday until 11 p.m. for Hartford, Tolland and Windham counties, according to the National Weather Service.

    On Thursday, flash flood warnings were issued Thursday for Litchfield, Fairfield and Hartford counties, the National Weather Service reported.

    The storm moved in from New York bringing heavy rain, intense lightning, damaging winds and hail on Thursday.

    There was a tremendous Thursday amount of lightning all the way from the Massachusetts border to New York City. The storm is heading east along Route 8 toward Interstate 91.

    Nearly 20,000 customers were without power at the height of the storms, according to the Connecticut Light & Power outage map.

    Berlin police reported trees and wires down across town, particularly in the Worthington Ridge area, and Southington police said they dealth with numerous accidents on Thursday evening, some of which may be weather related.

    Hebron Avenue is closed Friday morning due to a tree down on power lines, according to State Police. More information will be provided when it becomes available.

    Route 21 reopened Friday after closing overnight, but there are several trees down in the area so police said to be cautious if you choose to drive on that route.

    We're still expecting indirect impacts from Hurricane Arthur, but the storm has moved closer to Cape Cod than the National Hurricane Center originally predicted and the area is under a tropical storm warning.

    Arthur was upgraded to a category 2 hurricane around 9 p.m. Thursday and could reach maximum wind speeds of up to 100 mph.

    As some of the moisture from Hurricane Arthur streams north Thursday and Friday, periods of rain and thunderstorms could cause flooding. It has been very dry lately and rivers are running below normal in many locations, which is expected to mitigate the flood threat.

    The state Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security is monitoring the hurricane and keeping tabs on potential indirect impacts to Connecticut, according to a news release from Gov. Dannel Malloy's office.

    The forecast has prompted some towns to postpone fireworks.

    The town of Old Saybrook prepared ahead of time by launching StormArthur.com to keep residents up to date on the storm's developments.

    More information about the state's response to Arthur can be found online.

    Anyone who loses power during the storms should call Connecticut Light & Power at 1-800-286-2000.

    The best news is that the rain is expected to move out late Friday, leaving the second part of the holiday weekend dominated by beautiful sunny weather Saturday and Sunday.

    Send your weather photos to shareit@nbcconnecticut.com.