Va­ca­tion­ers leave as Arthur nears North Carolina

The Covington News - - THE WIRE -

RO­DAN­THE, N.C. (AP) — Hur­ri­cane Arthur gained strength in the At­lantic on Thurs­day and threat­ened to strike near the North Carolina coast on In­de­pen­dence Day, prompt­ing thou­sands of va­ca­tion­ers and res­i­dents to leave parts of the state’s pop­u­lar but flood-prone Outer Banks.

Ni­c­hole Specht, 27, and Ryan Wit­man, 28, had pre-loaded their Honda CRV and left Hat­teras Is­land at 3:30 a.m. Thurs­day, beat­ing the ex­pected traf­fic jam. The is­land was un­der an evac­u­a­tion or­der, with no traf­fic al­lowed in. Of­fi­cials asked an es­ti­mated 35,000 res­i­dents and trav­el­ers to leave through North Carolina High­way 12, the only road on and off Hat­teras.

Specht and Wit­man found the road wide open for their re­turn home to Lan­caster, Penn­syl­va­nia. Specht said her par­ents left their rental later, at 5 a.m., and also found clear sail­ing.

“We were just say­ing we were re­ally, re­ally lucky this year that the weather was so great, and then this,” Specht said as she ended a two-week va­ca­tion that in­cluded scout­ing sites for the cou­ple’s wed­ding next year.

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