OBX homeowners, vacationers make last minute preparations ahead of Hurricane Matthew

KITTY HAWK, N.C. - Outer Banks homeowners are getting in some last minute preparations before a weekend of anticipated heavy rain and strong winds from Hurricane Matthew.

"We just to try to keep the water away from certain areas, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't, just depends how angry the ocean is," says Jerry Moone, a Kitty Hawk homeowner.

Moone and his wife have rented out an oceanfront property in Kitty Hawk for years. On Friday evening, he was putting some wood up to block out the water.

He says their renters left yesterday morning. After witnessing Tropical Storm Hermine over the summer, he says they are not taking any chances.

"It tore every screen off of our porch," he says. "This could be just as bad or worse."

With Dare County now under a tropical storm warning, officials say the combination of abnormally high coastal water levels, storm surge, and extremely heavy rainfall is expected to cause a dangerous and life-threatening flooding event for the Outer Banks.

Dare County Emergency Management officials announced Friday morning that visitors are encouraged to leave before Saturday because of dangerous travel conditions.

They are also recommending that any travel to the area is postponed until conditions improve.

News 3 spoke with some vacationers that planned to leave, and others who say they plan to stick it out.

"We're not leaving, we're not going to leave unless it gets bad, wind, rain we can sit in our hotel room," says Melissa, from Culpepper, Virginia.

Officials say they expect road closures and travel restrictions throughout the county this weekend, particularly for portions of Highway 12 on Hatteras Island.

Some residents who spent the beginning of the week gathering groceries and necessities for the weekend decided to spend Friday night at the Avalon Fishing Pier.

"Drum love this weather," says Shawn Byrne. "I'm looking to hook up a big fish."