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Earl scoots to the north, spares S.C.

Sep 3, 2010 5:50:00 PM - thestate.com

The Sun News, Myrtle Beach, S.C.

Sept. 03—The worst of Hurricane Earl was still hours away when water and sand began washing over N.C. 12 on Hatteras Island late Thursday afternoon.

It was a foreboding sign as nearly a full night of foul weather approached. Most tourists and many residents of North Carolina's central and northern barrier islands had already fled inland. With the storm's precise path still unclear, those who remained braced for hours of heavy wind, big waves and flooding.

The worst of the storm was expected to be over by about 3 a.m., said Gail Hartfield of the National Weather Service's Raleigh office.