RODANTHE, N.C. (AP) -- Thousands of vacationers and residents are leaving parts of North Carolina's Outer Banks as Hurricane Arthur draws nearer.
The hurricane is expected to give that part of the coast a glancing blow tomorrow on Independence Day. It's not expected to make landfall, but it's expected to swipe the coast early tomorrow with winds of up to 85 miles an hour. Forecasters believe it will be off the coast of New England later in the day, eventually making landfall in Canada's maritime provinces as a tropical storm.
A National Hurricane Center forecaster says Outer Banks residents and visitors who fail to leave ahead of the hurricane's expected arrival should prepare for possibly getting stuck for several days without food, water or power.
Hatteras Island is under a mandatory evacuation order for visitors and residents. Officials are asking an estimated 35,000 people to leave through the only road on and off the island.
One couple had loaded up their car and left Hatteras Island at 3:30 a.m. today to beat the expected traffic jam. Nichole Specht and Ryan Witman found the road wide open for their return home to Pennsylvania.