Gabrielle Hits Outer Banks

HATTERAS, N.C. (AP) - Tropical Storm Gabrielle made landfall Sunday on North Carolina's Outer Banks, packing 50 mph winds and plenty of rain, but not enough of a threat to scare vacationers from the shore and surfers from the beach.

"It's a lot rougher out there, but this what we look forward to every year," said Derek Creekmore, 32, of Chesapeake, Va., as he carried his surfboard into tall, breaking waves near Cape Hatteras. "We plan to stay out here until we get tired."

Although Gabrielle strengthened slightly Sunday morning, it was a weak tropical storm when its small center made landfall along the Cape Lookout National Seashore around 11:45 a.m. Forecasters said Gabrielle's strongest winds and rainfall have yet to reach the coast, but will do so in the next few hours.

While moving over Pamlico Sound on Sunday afternoon, Gabrielle was expected to take a sharp turn and reach Nags Head around sunset before heading back out into the Atlantic.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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