Virginia Beach sees drop in visitors due to Hurricane Arthur - CBS46 News

Virginia Beach sees drop in visitors due to Hurricane Arthur

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Heavy surf and winds, plus the threat of rain, are keeping people away from Virginia Beach this normally busy weekend.

Even though Virginia Beach is not expected to feel as big an impact as the beaches to the south, there is no question Arthur could leave a serious economic impact on what is normally one of the biggest weekends of the year.

At first glance, the beach looked like it would on any Fourth of July weekend, but the threat of hurricane Arthur has kept people home.

"Last year, it was extremely busy and this year I would say it is down maybe 45 percent," said Catherine Card, who comes down every Independence Day from Richmond, and said the crowds are down.

Scott Smith is from Glen Allen. He and his family decided the trip was still worth the drive.

"We debated all day," he recalled. "I don't know, I just said we are going, 'we're going'."

But as the day progressed, the winds whipped up and the water became a dangerous place. Smith's 5-year-old son Riley waded in at first but it didn't take long for his dad to say that was enough.

"The waves progressively got worse and bigger, and at one point we just pulled him out," he said.

The impact of Arthur may be no more than a tropical storm when it reaches Virginia Beach, but there was an impact in who showed up. Normally the boardwalk is busy even late at night on a holiday weekend. Thursday night there was hardly anyone there.

And while the seas are rough and the wind blows, there were some, like Vivian Johnson who traveled from Brooklyn, who were prepared to wait out one day of storm and enjoy their vacation.

"Well, I was hoping to that we were going to miss this," she said. "We will see what happens I am in Virginia Beach it is for Lovers!"

Virginia Beach is a town that has dealt with much worse, and it won't be long before Arthur is an afterthought.

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