UPDATE: There is now a mandatory evacuation of Hatteras Island. After 5:00 a.m. on Thursday, July 3, there will be no entry onto Hatteras Island.
As the nation prepares for the 4th of July holiday on Friday, Tropical Storm Arthur could put a damper on coastal celebrations from Florida to the Carolinas. The possibility of high wind and heavy rain is causing the closing and postponing of events and outdoor attractions along the Outer Banks of North Carolina
According to the National Hurricane Center in Miami, the Outer Banks (OBX), located along the coast of North Carolina, could see winds between 74 and 110 mph when Tropical Storm Arthur arrives in the OBX. Arthur, the first named hurricane of the 2014 Atlantic hurricane season, is currently traveling at seven mph with winds of 60 mph. Inland areas will most likely see rain and thunderstorms.
As of Wednesday morning, July 2, Arthur was 260 miles south of Charleston, South Carolina. A tropical storm warning and hurricane watch is in effect for the following North Carolina: Beaufort, Dare, Carteret, Craven, Hyde and Pamlico. A watch means hurricane conditions are possible within the next 48 hours. Once winds reach 74 mph, the storm is rated as a hurricane.
According to Weather.com, Governor Pat McCrory has placed 25 of North Carolina's coastal and inland counties under a state of emergency. A voluntary evacuation of Ocracoke Island (Hyde County) is in effect.
By Wednesday evening, most of the National Park Services sites in the Outer Banks will be closed through Friday, July 4.
Currently, ferries are running on a regular schedule, but that could change as high winds develop. Ferry tolls have been waived on the Pamlico Sound ferry routes. The Hatteras Inlet route to and from Ocracoke Island is running on a 24-hour schedule.
Following is a list of Outer Banks 4th of July events that have been postponed. Be sure to check back as more closings and postponements will be posted as they become available.
- The 4th of July fireworks display at the Avon Pier has been rescheduled for Monday, July 7 at 9:00 p.m.
- Manteo's July 4th celebration and fireworks have been postponed for Sunday, July 6.
- Nags Head's Fireworks Spectacular at the Nags Head Pier has been rescheduled for Saturday, July 5 at 9:25 p.m.
- Kill Devil Hills' fireworks at the Avalon Pier have been postponed for Saturday, July 5.
- Corolla's independence Day celebration at the Whalehead Club have also been postponed to a later date.
Please take care along the Outer Banks coastal and beach areas as rip currents will be strong for the next couple of days.