Members of the large Garrison family from Kansas City, MO., play in the surf before complying with the mandatory evacuation orders for Hatteras Island, July 3, 2014 in Rodanthe, North Carolina. A Hurricane warning has been issued for North Carolina's Outer Banks due to approaching Hurricane Arthur that has been upgraded to a category 2 hurricane.

Arthur Strengthens, Outer Banks Awaits Category 2 Hurricane

Hurricane Arthur is expected to pass over or near the Outer Banks of North Carolina Friday Morning.

Members of the large Garrison family from Kansas City, MO., play in the surf before complying with the mandatory evacuation orders for Hatteras Island, July 3, 2014 in Rodanthe, North Carolina. A Hurricane warning has been issued for North Carolina's Outer Banks due to approaching Hurricane Arthur that has been upgraded to a category 2 hurricane.

Vacationers play in the surf before complying with the mandatory evacuation orders for Hatteras Island on Thursday in Rodanthe, N.C. Forecasters predict Arthur will strengthen to a Category 2 hurricane and pass over or near the Outer Banks Friday morning.

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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.  

[READ: Arthur Threatens July 4th Celebrations]

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. 

[ALSO: As Hurricane Arthur Nears North Carolina, Vacationers Head Out]

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.

Arthur was around 260 miles southwest of Cape Hatteras and is expected to bring heavy rain to Boston Friday, said AP. The city is holding its firework show Thursday night to savor the event, hoping the bad weather lays off temporarily.