Hurricane Arthur could impact tourism, business in Newport


As Hurricane Arthur moves up the coast, Southern New Englanders prepare for a rainy Fourth of July.

Many fireworks shows originally planned for Friday have been moved to Saturday, including Newport's big celebration.

Business owners in the City by the Sea are thinking about how the weather will impact tourism. Newport is already bustling with tourists from around the world.

For the most part, Fourth of July celebrations will go on as planned, rain or shine, and as long as Arthur only brings rainfall. But business owners and event organizers remain optimistic in Newport.

"A little rain won't hurt anybody, there is still a lot to see and do here," said Kathryn Farrington of the Newport Visitor Center.

"We think liberty can survive a little bit if rain we do this rain or shine," said Ross Cann, one of the organizers of the Independence Day celebration. "Being in that beautiful old building in some ways would be a blessing as well. It's really unchanged since it was built in 1736."

But all businesses aren't as calm about the storm. For Ben Willett, a pedicab driver, Arthur could wash away any hopes of making money before the weekend.

"We work on 100 percent gratuity, so we're not paid to be out here we operate on what people want to tip us," said Willett.

Most New Englanders claim they can handle a little rain as long as it isn't still a hurricane by the time it arrives here Friday.

They're hoping the only "storm" Newporters will see is the one you can pour into a beer glass.