Just in time to ruin Independence Day celebrations, Arthur is expected to pass over or near the Outer Banks of North Carolina as a Category 2 hurricane Friday morning, according to the National Hurricane Center.
If Arthur does hit land, it will be the first hurricane to make landfall on the Fourth of July, The Associated Press said.
Arthur is currently moving toward the north-northeast around 10 mph, but its speed is supposed to increase Thursday night and Friday.
Forecasters predict Arthur will wind down to a post-tropical cyclone Saturday – a little late for those who were hoping to celebrate the holiday on the North Carolina coast.
North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory issued a state of emergency for 25 of the state’s coastal and inland counties, forecasters reported.
Hatteras Island in the Outer Banks, however, had an emergency evacuation.
With 250,000 visitors expected over the weekend before the storm, the evacuation threw off many travelers’ plans, said AP. But some people refuse to let the storm ruin their fun – they are staying and riding out the storm.
Vacationers and the roughly 35,000 residents who do not leave on Highway 12 should be aware that they could be stranded for several days without food, water, or power, National Hurricane forecaster Stacy Stewart told AP.
“We want the public to take this system very seriously, go ahead and start their preparations because time is beginning to run back,” Stewart said.
The National Guard, for one, is taking the situation seriously. It has deployed more than 100 soldiers to protect residents and their property, The Weather Channel said.