(NBC News) Hurricane Arthur is gaining momentum as it pushes toward North Carolina's Outer Banks.
Evacuations are underway in some areas. The move comes at the worst possible time for thousands who had planned to spend the Fourth of July holiday on Hatteras Island.
The current forecast track shows the storm brushing much of the coast over the next few days,
with North Carolina's barrier islands taking the earliest, and likely most severe, hit.
Winds and rains have already arrived in some areas, and conditions are expected to continue to deteriorate through the night.
Emergency managers say the time to move to higher ground is quickly running out.