Outer Banks gets ready for Arthur

Lifeguard stands have moved out and no lifeguards will be on duty after 5 pm until further notice at Coquina and Buxton.

All National Park Service campgrounds are closed. And several sites along the Cape Hatteras National Seashore have closed or will close tomorrow, including The Bodie Island Lighthouse and the Wright Brothers National Memorial.

But business owner Mo Ashworth, of Hurricane Mo’s in Kitty Hawk, is afraid the approaching storm might turn folks away — a busy time for her restaurant that’s back on its feet and thriving after Hurricane Sandy sent water inside and damaged it.

“It’s the biggest weekend of the year for sure. That they’re all going to leave and not come down for the weekend. Timing is really poor,” says Ashworth.

Ashworth is hoping for the best but bracing for the worst as Arthur approaches.

Sunshine, beach games and homes decked out for the Fourth provided a picturesque day in the Outer Banks, as Arthur creeps his way up the East Coast.

“We just came back from go karting and we’re going to go to laser tag and we went to tale of the whale so we’re not even thinking about it,” say Nick and Stella Opencar.

Every summer now for the past 30 years, the Opencars have made the more than ten hour drive from Ohio to the Outer Banks. Even with Arthur on their hands, the couple plans to wait it out.

“She kept looking at the weather and I said ‘hey I’m just worried about today,’” Nick Opencar says. “Let’s enjoy today and tomorrow we’ll deal with it if we have to leave.”

Others though, like Steve Gully are packing up.

“I was deciding not to go anywhere until about an hour ago,” he says. “My wife said ‘I’m leaving tonight with or without you,’ so we decided let’s go to dinner and then we’ll leave.”

While Gully hits the road, others are hitting up the grocery aisles

“It’s been just like a steady pace of people,” says Billy Gibbs, who works at the Food-A-Rama in Manteo. “Just getting water and supplies and beer. I’ve been getting carts–30, 35 carts in like every ten minutes, helping customers out.”

For those on Hatteras Island, they have no choice. A mandatory evacuation order has been issued beginning Thursday at 5 a.m.

For the Opencars, they say that’s what it would take to get them to leave.

“If we have to leave, we’ll go,” they say. “Only if we have to.”

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