Tropical Storm Dennis, which spoiled last weekend for vacationers on the North Carolina coast, threatened to wash out the last big beach weekend of summer, too.
Forecasters said they expect the onetime hurricane to finally wade ashore on the state's curving southeastern coast on Sunday night, in the middle of the Labor Day holiday.
Vacationers and residents alike were sick and tired of the 11-day-old storm, whether it disrupted their summer break or wrecked their hopes for a money-making tourist-filled weekend.
"We just want to go home," said Pete Wilcox, as he sat at a roadblock in Nags Head on Friday, trying to reach his home in Rodanthe, on Hatteras Island. "I've been out of work a week and don't need that."
A mandatory evacuation order was lifted on Friday for beachfront neighborhoods in Nags Head, Kitty Hawk and Kill Devil Hills. Farther south, on Hatteras Island, where the raging surf chewed up the main north-south highway and choked it with chest-high beach sand, only four-wheel-drive traffic was permitted.