Tropical Storm Threatens East Coast July 4th Plans

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The motel Shutters on the Banks was completely booked for the holiday weekend, general manager John Zeller said, despite forecasts for potentially heavy rain, gusty winds and isolated tornadoes late Thursday and Friday.

“We have received some cancellations but not too many,” he said. “Basically we are telling people to kind of wait and see what happens.”

The motel has a 72-hour advance notice on cancellations, but Zeller said it will be waived if the storm tracks toward the area or warnings are issued.

In Folly Beach, South Carolina, dozens of people fished from the pier under sunny skies Tuesday. Others surfed on gentle swells, sunbathed and looked for shells.

In Savannah, rooms in the downtown historic district were expected to be at least 80 percent full for the holiday weekend, when crowds pack the beach on neighboring Tybee Island.

Cancellations aren’t uncommon when storms approach, but those calls weren’t coming in Tuesday, Marinelli said.

Amy Gaster said her Tybee Island vacation rental company had more than 200 beach homes and condos booked for the weekend, likely to be the busiest of the year. If forecasts start to show a serious threat, Gaster said her staff was prepared to send alerts to guests’ cellphones.

But as long as Arthur stays offshore, she said her biggest concerns are rip currents and possible thundershowers on Thursday, when thousands are expected to pack the Georgia coast’s largest public beach for fireworks.

“Hopefully Mother Nature is going to cooperate with us this year,” Gaster said.

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(Photo Source: AP)

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