Maria Causing Headaches for Outer Banks Tourists, Businesses

Tourists and businesses in the Outer Banks hope for the best and prepare for the worst as Hurricane Maria scrapes the eastern shore.

OUTER BANKS, N.C. (WVEC) -- Hurricane Maria is ruining vacations for people visiting the Outer Banks this week. Many had to cancel plans for the next few days while others were forced evacuate their beach rentals and hotels completely.

From flying kites, to fishing, to a leisurely walk with the dog, it was the calm before the storm at Coralla Monday evening.

RELATED: Maria Watch | Tropical Storm Warnings, Evacuations Issued on NC Coast

“We’re just going to baton down the hatches and hope for the best,” said tourist James Agnew.

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Agnew admits he may have picked the wrong week to vacation in the Outer Banks as Hurricane Maria scrapes past the eastern shore.

“We had plans to go out to dinner tonight but we decided to stay in,” said Agnew. “If things get worse I guess we’ll go into plan B which is get out of town.”

Plan B has already been put into effect in Hatteras and Ocracoke Islands where close to 1,000 visitors were forced to evacuate.

“They said ‘yea you have to get out of the house immediately and pack everything up and leave,’” said evacuee Jessica Gruver.

Gruver had to ditch the beach house for a motel, she’s just trying to keep her kids calm with pizza. It’s not the trip they were hoping for.

“I started to cry because we live in Pennsylvania and that’s eight hours away and I have a four and six-year-old that I didn’t want to pack in the car and drive all day, they were really excited about being at the beach,” said Gruver.

Businesses like Lucky’s Pizza and OBX Bait and Tackle are about a quarter of a mile from the beach. They say most of the time these hurricanes turn out to be no big deal but you have to treat each one seriously.

“Just be prepared we have a backup generator and food so we are good to go,” said the manager of OBX. “when the power goes out, we have a lot of bait, like to keep it cold.”

While tourists say instead of shopping for fun souvenirs they are now bringing back emergency supplies.

“We got some pop and some candles and flash lights in case we lose power,” said tourist Beverly Myers.

© 2017 WVEC-TV


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