(NBC News) Residents and vacationers along the eastern seaboard are preparing for what could be a long and dangerous Fourth of July weekend.
Hurricane Arthur is gaining momentum and pushing toward North Carolina's Outer Banks.
"We are taking this storm very seriously and I ask that all coastal residents and visitors do the same," North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory warned Wednesday.
The current forecast shows the storm will brush the coast over the next few days, with the Outer Banks likely getting the worst of it, and at the worst possible time.
Hotels are filled for the Fourth, with vacationers eagerly watching the weather. Some have already been told to leave. A mandatory evacuation order is in place on Hatteras Island, and dozens left Cape Lookout National Park late Wednesday as the park activated its hurricane plan, forcing campers to clear out.
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