Firms near the coast of South Carolina and North Carolina are proceeding with business as usual today, even as Hurricane Arthur gains strength and moves closer to shore. The Category 1 storm, which this morning was about 365 miles southwest of Cape Hatteras, has maximum sustained winds of 75 miles per hour, with gusts of up to 90 miles per hour. Later this week, the storm could bring hazardous conditions as far north as New England in the U.S., although the brunt of Arthur is likely to stay offshore.
“We’re used to them,” said Cathy Magee, president of ICE Creative (asi/301895). The Myrtle Beach, SC-based distributor weathered Hurricane Floyd in 1999 and 2008’s Hurricane Hanna and is making no special preparation plans for this storm. “It really depends what the forecasters tell us. If it’s a Category 1 or 2, we don’t worry about it. We get serious and take due preparations when it’s a 3, 4 or above.”
A tropical storm warning was in effect this morning in Wilmington, NC, but firm Queensboro (asi/581665) is planning to stay open at this point as well. “We’re just going to ride it out,” said Kyle Foster, director of merchandising for the apparel seller and decorator. Foster said the company would close early if conditions significantly worsened.
The timing will undoubtedly affect tourism as the storm is set to arrive on the July 4th holiday weekend. Arthur is expected to make its peak impact Friday morning at the Outer Banks before moving out to sea and eventually making landfall in northeast Canada. Very strong winds and rip currents along with coastal flooding are expected. “This is no time to be brave and risk your safety,” said North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory in a press conference Wednesday. “Don't put your stupid hat on.”