WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Gov. Pat McCrory says the state of North Carolina is taking the threat of Tropical Storm Arthur seriously, even if the storm may not deliver a direct hit.
With beaches packed for the 4th of July holiday, McCrory says he is concerned residents and visitors may underestimate Arthur's impact and advises an abundance of caution; echoing a warning he issued during last winter's ice storms.
"Don't put your stupid hat on," McCrory said during a news conference at the New Hanover County Emergency Operations Center this afternoon. "Usually most injuries occur right before a storm or right after a storm, so especially on the coastal area, we want to make sure people don't try out the great waves before the storm comes, even though they are good waves. We don't want you to go into the ocean."
McCrory says state tourism officials and other agencies will work with local leaders to get the word out to beach visitors especially about the dangers of rip currents. The rip risk is increased as Tropical Storm Arthur approaches and likely will remain high after the storm passes.
He also urged people to play safe so as not to put the lives of emergency workers at risk.
The governor recommended residents and visitors to the coast stay tuned to local media for the latest information about the path of the storm and its effects.
This morning McCrory declared a State of Emergency for 25 coastal and adjoining counties.
The governor said he is aware of the impact of the storm on a busy tourist weekend along the coast. He has plans to be in the NC 4th of July Festival parade Friday in Southport.