North Carolina's Dare County has ordered 30,000 residents and visitors to leave the Outer Banks' Hatteras Island as Hurricane Earl approaches.
Officials issued the order Wednesday evening for people in seven villages on the island. Only about 4,800 are permanent residents living from Rodanthe to Hatteras.
Officials had earlier asked only visitors to leave.
County spokeswoman Dorothy Toolan says people who choose to stay are being advised they may go without government help and services for up to 72 hours after the hurricane passes.
Earl's strongest winds are expected to reach the coast Thursday night into Friday morning.