Tropical storm Hanna's approach to the Carolinas has forced some evacuations and closures at Cape Lookout and Cape Hatteras national seashores, and more steps could be taken depending on the severity of the storm.
As the accompanying NOAA image indicates, the forecast cone for the storm's path indicates that it will most likely make a direct hit along the North Carolina coast. As of 5 a.m. EDT Friday, September 5, Hanna had maximum sustained winds near 65 mph and was centered about 430 miles south of Wilmington, North Carolina. The storm was accelerating and moving toward the northwest near 20 mph.
It is possible that Hanna's winds could reach hurricane velocity (74+ miles per hour). A hurricane watch remains in effect from Edisto Beach, South Carolina to Currituck Beach Light, North Carolina (including Pamlico Sound and the entire Outer Banks region).
At Cape Lookout, the seashore has issued a mandatory evacuation of all visitors from the seashore islands. The park closed to all visitors at 5 p.m. local time today, and all services were shut down as well until further notice.
At Cape Hatteras, officials say the Ocracoke Island Visitor Center and campground closed today at 5:00 p.m. and will remain closed until further notice. The Ocracoke Campground reservation system has been temporarily suspended. The Frisco campground also has been closed until further notice, while the Oregon Inlet Campground has been placed on a one-day availability basis.
Dare County (North Carolina) Emergency Management is advising residents and visitors to closely monitor local media outlets for the latest developments that may affect travel plans. It is recommended that anyone planning to travel on Saturday consider adjusting plans to avoid poor travel conditions.