by: John Ahrens Updated:CHARLOTTE, N.C. —
Tropical Storm Arthur could slam into the Outer Banks just as vacationers start their Fourth of July holiday.
Its path is similar to the devastating Hurricane Irene in 2011.
Tropical Storm Arthur may not get too strong in size, but then again, when Hurricane Irene approached the Outer Banks it was only at Category 1 strength and the damage was enormous.
SPECIAL SECTION: Hurricanes and Tropical Storms
Highway 12, the lifeline into the Outer Banks, was washed away by the storm surge.
It took months to reopen and create any form of road connecting the Outer Banks.
The wind also peeled off hotel roofs and covered streets in sand.
Irene made landfall near Cape Lookout with 80 mph winds and surveys after the storm indicated that the storm surge of 8 to 11 feet in portions of Pamlico Sound.
The path of the current storm is not certain yet but its current forecast path may present some new dangers.
If it doesn't make landfall and mostly brushes up against the coast, it may not only bring the winds but also flooding rains.
The storm would spend all day battering the Outer Banks with rain and high seas, and it would take its time.
Irene spent about 10 hours over the Outer Banks and Arthur could stick around longer.
Once the front gets past Charlotte it should take the storm and accelerate it past the coast, easing the travel dangers for Saturday and Sunday.
It’s a better end to the weekend but there is still the potential for hazardous travel conditions getting to the beach this holiday weekend.