Hurricane Arthur Delivers Fourth of July Bang Up
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. -- Hurricane Arthur is a holiday headache for many this Fourth of July as the Category 2 storm forced power outages and flooding in parts of Virginia and North Carolina.
Arthur pounded North Carolina's coast with whipping winds of more than 100 miles per hour when it came ashore about midnight.
The storm packed quite a punch and spawned reports of tornadoes. Resident Jose Trejo saw the roof ripped off his home when a tornado struck his house.
"When I got my kids in the living room, then took them to the bathroom and then as we were heading to the bathroom the ceiling was just collapsing behind us," he said.
Assessing the storm damage is just beginning as the sun rose Friday. As many as than 22,000 homes were without power across the Carolinas early Friday, according to Duke Energy's website.
The more than 400-mile wide storm took aim at the Outer Banks. Emergency teams issued mandatory evacuations on Hatteras Island.
But even in other parts of the Outer Banks, many Fourth of July vacationers opted to pack it up and head out ahead of the storm's arrival.
"We're packing up to head to safer grounds and hope that they call us back," vacationer Cassie Pokol said.
The move out is delivering a severe blow to tourism. Before the storm hit the Outer Banks, officials expected 250,000 people to travel to the area for the big holiday weekend.
"I think it messes up the holiday for everyone," one person said. "[It's] just a bad situation. There's nothing else you could really do."
Arthur is weakening as it travels north, but it's still bring heavy rain along the East Coast. It is the first storm of the hurricane season.