Vacationers and locals prep for Maria

OUTER BANKS, N.C. - Despite gusty winds, there are people scattered along the beach in Kitty Hawk, Nags Head and all along the Outer Banks. They are vacationers and locals, both watching the strong waves come in ahead of the storm.

"It's different being from Chicago. This is the first hurricane anything I've ever seen or been in. It's kinda coo," said Alex Cadle, who is visiting with his uncle Victor.

The two will be on the Outer Banks for the next few days as part of their road trip to see beaches along the east coast.

"We’re just trying to get some cool pictures and videos for Instagram," laughed Alex.

They tried to get to Hatteras Island, but Dare County officials have issued a mandatory evacuation, which also includes Ocracoke Island. That's where Don and Melanie Whitner have vacationed for 30 years, until now.

"This is the first time we’ve ever been been blown off the island by a storm," said Don. However, they aren't upset. Just packed up their things and found another house to rent.

"We're old, we roll with the flow," laughed Melanie.

Their plans for the next few days are to go to the beach when possible. If they have to stay indoors, they said their fridge is stocked.

Dare County officials are asking people to monitor forecasts, limit travel as much as possible and to stay indoors. Ashley Clark and her family have a hurricane kit ready to go.

"I've got games and batteries and all that stuff. Everything's charged extra battery packs and tablets to keep the kids happy," said Clark. This is her first hurricane season, but she has enjoyed watching the strong waves with her husband and kids.

Crews worked late Monday night to build up sand dunes to protect Highway 12 from overwash. However, drivers are asked to stay off the highway during high tide.