Thu July 3, 2014
Hurricane Arthur Could Disrupte July 4th Celebrations
Tropical Storm Arthur has become a hurricane and is threatening to take a glancing blow at the Carolina coast on Independence Day.
And here on Delmarva officials are bracing for wet weather but are optimistic.
In Ocean City officials are delaying the July 4th fireworks and festivities for Saturday.
Mayor Rick Meehan says the wet weather into Friday morning will not allow enough time to set up the fireworks display for tomorrow night.
Officials still expect near capacity crowds over the weekend with $50 being charged for all day Saturday at the Inlet Parking.
In Chincoteague officials are going ahead with their July 4th fireworks and carnival tomorrow.
But if rain does persist they put them off until Saturday.
Expecting big crowds there will be free transportation from Chincoteague High School directly to the carnival.
Forecasters say the size and path of the storm are still uncertain, but beach patrol officials say a tropical storm or hurricane doesn't have to be close to shore to cause heavy surf and dangerous rip currents. Those rip currents could be especially troublesome if sunny skies on Saturday draw lots of people to the water.
In Rehoboth Beach the resort’s lifeguards are gearing up to help visitors who may be deceived by the sunny weather.
Kent Buckson, head of the Beach Patrol, says that rip currents are likely to begin tomorrow posing a danger to beach goers.
Expect heavy traffic this July 4th weekend.
Triple A Mid-Atlantic says it expects around 828-thosuand Marylanders will be traveling 50 miles or more.
That’s up 1.6 percent over last year with 87 percent going by car.
Going into the weekend gas prices are averaging $3.68 a gallon the highest in 6 years.
But says Regina Cooper-Averella with Triple A says, "Even though we're seeing the highest gas prices on record going into a Fourth of July holiday since 2008, we don't expect that to have much of an impact on holiday travel this upcoming weekend."
Meanwhile, the Chesapeake Bay Bridge is expected to see a lot of traffic.
Cooper-Averella with AAA says, "The Maryland Transportation Authority is expecting high volumes of traffic on the Bay bridge. Weather permitting, the Maryland Transportation Authority will be implementing two way traffic operations to help alleviate delays. That's when they run the traffic counter flowing to add an additional lane of traffic."
Maryland Transportation Authority says to beat the traffic today and Sunday it’s best to travel before 10 a.m. and after 10 p.m.
Tomorrow and Saturday the best time for traveling is before 7 a.m. and after 5 p.m.
(Matt Forney contributed to this story)