Evacuations Start as Arthur Becomes a Hurricane

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Arthur has strengthened into a Category 1 hurricane, the first one of the season. The storm is on track to batter the East Coast just in time for Fourth of July vacation plans.

North and South Carolina are set to get hit the hardest, with evacuations underway in parts of the Tar Heel State.

North Carolina's Outer Banks, a popular getaway spot along the shore, could bear the brunt of the storm. Both residents and vacationers loaded up and headed out.

"If it's mandatory you have to go so there's no decision to make," evacuee Nancy Miller said.

With hurricane watches and warnings in place, the governor has declared a state of emergency for 25 counties.

***AccuWeather meteorologist Mark Mancuso talked more about Arthur's path and what to expect over the next few days on CBN News Today, July 3.

Meanwhile, it's not just North Carolina that's worried about Hurricane Arthur. Officials in several states on the coast have closed beaches.

Florida raised red flags to warn of rough surf and rip currents, and swimmers at some beaches have been advised to only go in areas of water where lifeguards are stationed.

"Feels like somebody's pulling in your clothes and you can't stand up straight," beach-goer Todd Williams said.

Some towns have rescheduled July 4 festivities ahead of the storm. Meanwhile, many business owners hope it doesn't keep the crowds away.

"We are doing really good business today. But we have heard people talking about leaving. So if they leave, then our business is going to go down," business manager Rochelle Warb said.

Business owner Denise Dean said, "We got lots of staff to make the sales. We just need not to have the storm."

But some vacationers aren't letting the storm spoil their holiday vacation plans..

"We are still gonna have a blast," tourist Sabrina Gable said. "We have an indoor pool Jacuzzi, everything."

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Charlene  Aaron

Charlene Aaron

CBN News Reporter

Charlene Aaron serves as a general assignment reporter and helps anchor for the CBN News Channel.  Follow her on Twitter @CharNews and "like" her at Facebook.com/CharleneIsraelCBNNews.