Atlantic Beach officials tell tourists to leave if worried about Arthur

by: Ken Lemon Updated:

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ATLANTIC BEACH, N.C. - Strong wind gusts are creating massive waves on Atlantic Beach Thursday afternoon.

Emergency officials told tourists they need to leave if they are uncomfortable with the hurricane-force winds and flooding.

One couple from Boone told Channel 9 reporter Ken Lemon they are not leaving their vacation home along the Intercoastal Waterway.

“We get good heavy weather in Boone in the form of snowfall, but we are ready for it,” said tourist Liz Riddick.

They are determined to make this a dream vacation despite the threat from Hurricane Arthur barreling up the coast toward Atlantic Beach.

“Trying to get a little vacation in; it’s the only chance we get this summer and we are not letting the hurricane derail us,” said Matthew Gibson.

Emergency officials told Channel 9 there is a good chance of flooding in the area where they are staying.

Anna Woods-Spears lives across the street. She has seen the street flood before.

"At the end of the street, it came up the water wall here,” she said.

She spent the day moving anything that can be damaged by flooding or high winds.

"You have great respect for a power greater than yourself," she said.

Officials opened an emergency operations center to track the hurricane and coordinate their response.

They are implementing a curfew that starts at 11 p.m. Thursday.

"Worst-case scenario is the storm coming in when people are asleep and unfortunately that's what's going to happen to us tonight,” said Atlantic Beach Police Chief Allan Smith.

He said anyone not leaving needs to stay in their homes until the storm moves out Friday morning.

Emergency crews want to survey the damage and make sure the roads are safe.

Channel 9 did find some people leaving the coast Thursday evening.

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