KILL DEVIL HILLS, N.C. — With mostly minimal damage, the Outer Banks dodged a bullet in the category 2 storm, according to WTVD-TV.
That was good news for business owners who hoped to cash in on the July 4th holiday weekend.
Not even a hurricane could keep vacationers away from the Outer Banks this Fourth of July.
“We knew it was coming,” said Jason Taylor, who drove from West Virginia to vacation in Kill Devil Hills. “We just came down. I mean we had a reservation. We had to do it regardless.”
Kill Devil Hills Mayor Pro Tem Mike Hogan says business owners up and down the Barrier Islands don’t just look forward to a major holiday, they depend on it.
“At least you know you’re gonna get a few days or a week or something of total occupancy and all the restaurants are full,” he said.
But then came Arthur chugging up the coast with the Outer Banks in its sights, putting in jeopardy a weekend when businesses have to succeed.
While Hurricane Arthur was a category 2 bearing heavy rain and powerful gusting winds, it hit overnight and moved up the coast quickly leaving minimal damage in its wake.
“I’m just glad it moved through quick and we didn’t suffer too much damage,” said Drew Meredith, Nags Head Watersports owner.
Arthur was only a hiccup in an otherwise picturesque launch to peak season on the northern Outer Banks. Those on Hatteras Island can’t say the same.
“Of course the way they stick out there in the ocean they’re always like a target,” said Hogan. “Kind of an unfortunate thing but fortunate in a way that people that couldn’t get down to the island had some place to stay. So the hotels here and in Kitty Hawk and in Nags Head did a pretty good business.”
While Ocracoke, Manteo and other sound side areas took on some flooding and power outages, the water receded quickly and crews staged before the storm were swift to restore order.
With Arthur moving up the coast and out to sea, Gov. Pat McCrory said July 4th was a good day.
“There have been no casualties or serious injuries reported and that was our number one goal,” he said.