calling it “Frankenstorm,” and it promises to be a monster when it
makes landfall early next week in the northeastern U.S.
However, Hurricane Sandy is also going to have significant impacts on the Outer Banks.
National Hurricane Center changed the tropical storm watch to an
warning late this afternoon, and the Outer Banks can expect coastal
flooding from both the ocean and the Pamlico Sound, high winds, high
seas, and rainfall that could total 7 inches.
There are no
evacuations ordered in Hyde or Dare counties, but the weather will
steadily deteriorate, beginning Saturday and lasting into early next
Today was breezy on Hatteras and Ocracoke. A partly sunny morning gave way to intermittent showers and a humid, gray day.
At 5 p.m., Sandy was 560 miles south of Buxton with winds of 75 miles per hour and moving north at only 7 miles per hour.
That’s a weak category one storm, but don’t let that fool you.
the next several days, forecasters say the storm will transition from a
tropical cyclone to a hybrid storm – part tropical and part
northeaster. The wind field will spread out and will whip the
coast from North Carolina into New England.
Emergency Management says winds will be gale force – 35 mph or more –
by Saturday evening and increase to storm force – over 50 mph by early
The National Weather Service in Newport, N.C., is
forecasting winds of 35 to 45 mph on Sunday with gusts to 55 and from
50 to 60 mph with gusts to 75 Sunday night.
Very high seas
offshore – up to 22 to 23 feet on Sunday – will bring sand and ocean
overwash onto Highway 12, especially from Rodanthe through Pea
Island. The Weather Service says ocean water will be 2 to 4 feet
above ground level on northern Hatteras Island.
Under these conditions, Highway 12 will surely be closed and perhaps damaged by the pounding waves.
will shift Sunday night into Monday to a more westerly direction, and
the Weather Service advises that water on the soundside of the Outer
Banks will be 3 to 5 feet above ground level.
Heavy rain will accompany the storm – from 4 to 6 inches and up to 8 inches in some areas, according to the weather service.
is expected to hang around well into next week. Dare County
Emergency Management predicts high winds in the area until Tuesday
Though there are no evacuations, some rental
management companies have been moving this week’s renter away from the
oceanfront and advising them to leave today or risk being caught on the
island when Highway 12 is closed.
It seems very likely that
visitors whose rentals are scheduled to begin this weekend will not be
able to get here because of the closed road. Dare County says
visitors should check with their accommodations provider before
traveling to the Outer Banks.
The county also advises residents
and visitors to move their vehicles to higher ground and secure all
property outside and on decks.
The North Carolina Department of
Transportation is making preparations to ensure it is ready to respond.
Crews are checking their equipment to make sure it is working properly,
topping off their fuel tanks and reviewing their routes prior to the
NCDOT has front-end loaders, motor
graders and bulldozers staged along Highway 12 12 in Ocracoke,
Rodanthe, and Pea Island, south of the Bonner Bridge. This
equipment is in addition to the equipment already at the maintenance
yards in Manteo, Ocracoke, and Buxton. NCDOT has more equipment
ready to mobilize if needed, as well as employees prepared to patrol
N.C. 12 during and after the storm.
At this time, ferry
service is running according to the regular schedule. NCDOT has
moved the larger 180-foot ferries closer to Hatteras in case an
emergency ferry route is needed once the storm passes.
is also providing real-time information about travel conditions through
its Twitter feeds. As the storm approaches, the department will send
out tweets about road closures, flooding, ferry cancellations and
evacuation routes. There are feeds for the northern coastal region, the
southern coastal region and the ferry system. A list of NCDOT’s 18
Twitter feeds is available at www.ncdot.gov/travel/twitter.
Here is a list of resources on the NCDOT website:
outages are possible, but the Cape Hatteras Electric Cooperative said
today that it is monitoring the storm and getting ready to restore
power as quickly as possible when conditions permit. Contract
crews are on standby should assistance be needed.
residents and visitors to have an emergency kit that includes
non-perishable food, water, a flashlight, radio, batteries, and other
items to weather a power outage.
The outage reporting number on Hatteras is 866-511-9862.
National Park Service will close the Ocracoke Campground will close at
noon on Saturday, and it will remain closed for the season.
National Park Visitor Centers, including Ocracoke, Hatteras Island,
Bodie Island and Wright Brothers and Fort Raleigh, will remain open
until close of business Saturday, October 27, 2012, then will remain
closed until further notice.
Because of the forecast strong
northeasterly gale force winds, storm surges, high lunar tides, and
rough ocean conditions, park beaches will be closed to off-road
vehicles by 5 p.m. on Saturday and remain closed until further notice.
North Carolina Beach Buggy Association planned to end its annual Red
Drum Tournament early – at noon on Saturday with an awards dinner at 5
Dare County will continue to issue bulletins on its
emergency management web page throughout the storm. The next
advisory will be 9:30 a.m. on Saturday morning. You will find this page
at http://www.darenc.com/emergencymanagement/. And you can sign
up to get an e-mail each time the page is updated.
Ocracoke information is available on the Hyde County Public Information Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Hyde-County-Public-Information/245782495454520.
the Newport Weather Service office has a page on its website devoted to
Sandy, with threat assessments and many graphics. You will find
it at http://www.erh.noaa.gov/mhx/Sandy.php.
Previous stories about Hurricane Sandy