Hurricane Earl Bears Down East Coast

September 3, 2010 Updated Sep 3, 2010 at 8:03 AM EDT

By WKBW Programming

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Hurricane Earl Bears Down East Coast

September 3, 2010 Updated Sep 3, 2010 at 8:03 AM EDT

(CNN/WKBW) - A weakened Hurricane Earl brushed North Carolina's Outer Banks overnight, flooding coastal highways and sending residents inland.

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"In multiple locations, waves have crashed over the tops of the dunes and are now flooding several portions of the main state highway on both the north and south sides through the Outer Banks. This is all happening south of the area called the Oregon Inlet," CNN's David Mattingly reported from the community of Waves. "The water is six to eight inches deep and seems to be getting deeper by the minute."

Ben McNeely from Charlotte, North Carolina, was riding the storm out in the community of Manteo.

"We're in the middle of the island," McNeely said. "Surf's up, waves are up ... We're fully surrounded by water."

Ray Sturza, the mayor of Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina, said his town was handling the onslaught of rain pretty well.

"At this point it looks like we may have dodged a bullet," Sturza said on CNN's "American Morning."

Sturza said streets in his town in North Carolina's Outer Banks were not as flooded as he thought they would be Friday morning.

Sturza estimated that as many as 200,000 tourists may have left the town ahead of the storm.

As North Carolina took the brunt of the storm, residents farther up the Eastern Seaboard braced for a stormy Friday.

Read more from CNN here.