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A stream of vacationers and residents began to pack up and leave parts of North Carolina's flood-prone Outer Banks as Arthur strengthened to a hurricane early Thursday.

Bill Kirk of Ashland, Ky., above, carried his belongings from the beach house he had rented on Hatteras Island, which was under a mandatory evacuation order for visitors.

Vehicles drive north on Highway 12 in Pea Island, North Carolina, following a mandatory evacuation order for Hatteras Island due to approaching Hurricane Arthur, July 3, 2014.Mark Wilson / Getty Images