CHARLESTON, S.C. - Emergency officials are ordering a mandatory evacuation of a fragile barrier island along North Carolina's Outer Banks as Tropical Storm Arthur approaches.

Dare County officials said Wednesday that the mandatory evacuation of Hatteras Island would begin at 5 a.m. Thursday. After that time, no one will be allowed on the island.

The officials said residents and out-of-town visitors who may already have arrived for the Fourth of July weekend should evacuate during daylight hours before the tropical storm brings high winds, rough seas, dangerous rip currents and possible flooding on N.C. 12. The two-lane highway is the only way on and off the island other than ferries to the south.

The National Hurricane Center has issued a hurricane warning for all of Dare County. Arthur is expected to become a hurricane by Thursday.


WATCH: Meteorologist Topper Shutt has our Wednesday night update...

The latest forecast track for Tropical Storm Arthur shows the storm hitting parts of the coast in time for 4th of July fireworks. VPC

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