Hurricane Arthur bears down on Carolina coast
Kill Devil Hills, NC (CNN) - The first hurricane of the season is churning in the Atlantic off Georgia’s coast, but it's not staying there for long. Hurricane watches are in effect for North Carolina.
Wind and waves are picking up along the North Carolina coast as beach-goers get in their last few hours of clear skies. Hurricane Arthur is grinding toward the Carolinas bringing winds surpassing 75 miles an hour, and promising to put a damper on July fourth festivities. Parts of North Carolina’s outer banks remain under a mandatory evacuation.
Craig Fugate - Director, FEMA: "The more people that evacuate, it makes it easier to go in there and clean up afterwards, we're not having to do a lot of search and rescue operations and hopefully with this storm we don't have loss of life.
Governor Pat McCrory - North Carolina: "Usually where we have casualties is either right before a storm or right after a storm, when people get too comfortable and not listening to the warnings of public safety officials"
Meteorologists say even if Arthur stays off-shore as a weak category one hurricane, that won't diminish the danger.
Rick Knabb - Director, National Hurricane Center: "The inland flooding due to heavy rain, the rip currents and the waves, we've had a lot of people die in the ocean, and then there's also the storm surge flooding. We could see 2-4 feet above normally dry ground."
AAA estimates some 41 million people are on the roads this week. Add a treacherous storm and it could make traveling a nightmare.
Robert Sinclair - AAA New York: “If you’re out on the road, as probably 80% of those traveling will be, pack your patience."