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Arthur eyes one of Crystal Coast's busiest weekends

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ATLANTIC BEACH, N.C. - Tropical Storm Arthur looks to be heading towards eastern Carolina by the week's end.

The storm couldn't have picked a worst time to brush the east as a lot of people are expected for the holiday weekend.

While many are getting ready for grilling and fireworks, businesses and restaurants on the coast are preparing as well. 9 On Your Side talked to several businesses who way Arthur’s not far from people’s minds.

The storm is expected to hit late Thursday, which is when Crystal Coast officials say is around the same time they expect people to be making their way to the coast.
     
On Tuesday, the Town of Pine Knoll Shores sent out tips for travelers. They say expect some flooding and possible power outages.
     
Town manager Brian Kramer says he doesn't expect the storm to keep too many people away.

"Maybe a day tripper or two, but folks coming down for the week need to come,” said Brian Kramer, Pine Knoll Shores Town Manager. “It's supposed to pass us right by and Saturday and Sunday are supposed to be nice. I don't think it will deter many others than some day trippers."

Kramer says they anticipate 10,000 people will make their way to Pine Knoll Shores for the holiday weekend.

In Atlantic Beach, more than 40,000 people are expected to hit the beach.

Whether they’re from other parts of North Carolina or from out of state, people vacationing in Atlantic Beach say a tropical storm won't ruin their vacation.  
     
Many restaurants and businesses 9 On Your Side talked to say they’re used to storms and will allot extra time to storm proof their facilities. However, they say they plan to stay open. Atlantic Beach mayor and oceanfront business owner,Trace Cooper,  says so far, so good.

"We haven’t heard of any sort of mass cancellations yet,” said Mayor Trace Cooper, Atlantic Beach. “And a lot of our business down here comes from week-long vacation rentals. So, if we get one raining night, they're probably just going to stick it out and be here for the rest of the week."

For Ohio native Michael Mowry and his family they are watching the weather for their second trip to the North Carolina coast. 

"We"ll just keep an eye on it and watch the track. We should be ok,” said Michael Mowry, vacationing from Ohio.

It's that attitude that businesses and restaurants along the Crystal Coast are hoping most tourist will have this Fourth of July weekend, especially since the coast is expecting more than 50,000 visitors.

Atlantic Beach did move its fireworks show to Saturday evening. Mayor Cooper says people have called his motel,Oceana Motel & Fishing Pier,  asking about the weather. He says most of them are just planning to delay arrival or come in a little early.

Cooper says along the coast any time you hear the word storm, people get nervous.

"For better or worse, we’re storm experts so we're able to give a level headed assessment to people calling in thinking about maybe canceling for the weekend," said Cooper.

For the Mowry family, they say it won't ruin their vacation but it may change it just a little.
 
"We’ll just keep an eye on it, hunker down if we need be, or just leave a little early," said Mowry.

The storm is expected to hit the Crystal Coast around 9 p.m. on Thursday and into Friday, so visitors should plan accordingly.
     
And remember to stay with WNCT First Alert Weather for the latest on the storm.

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