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WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, NC (WWAY) — The long holiday weekend means more time in the sand, and this summer there’s more sand at Wrightsville Beach thanks to an off-season dredging project. But the threat of a tropical storm or hurricane off our coast could threaten all the work.

Beach visitors are enjoying the extra 900,000 cubic yards of sand. It protects against storms like Arthur.

“We hope the project stays in place,” Wrightsville Beach Town Manager Tim Owens said. “It should.”

He’s hoping, because the sand for the Wrightsville Beach renourishment project did not come cheap. All that sand cost $9 million.

“Unfortunately, when you’re in a coastal community, it’s just one of the things that you have to do,” said Wrightsville Beach resident and business owner Jim Carter.

He has seen plenty of storms. He hopes Arthur won’t cause too much erosion.

“Any storm’s not great for us, but I just hate it’s happening around the 4th (of July) for my business and all my other friends’ businesses here,” Carter said.

Carter worries folks visiting from inland cities might not want to risk coming to the coast, but he’s staying positive.

“From what I’ve heard, it should blow on out, and we’re looking at a good 4th,” he said.

Owens is also optimistic, but warns beach visitors to pay attention.

“I think everyone should come and enjoy the beach, but basically stay out of the water, particularly when the surf is high,” Owens said.

During a news conference in Wilmington today, Gov. Pat McCrory warned everyone “don’t wear your stupid hats.” It’s his way of saying be safe while celebrating this weekend.

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