winds and water continue to buffet Hatteras Island for yet another
day. The rains stopped by late morning and temperatures continue
to drop as Hurricane Sandy tracked around the edge of the Outer Banks
and headed inland towards the mid-Atlantic region. Due to its
large size, this hybrid storm is forecasted to bring tropical storm
conditions to the region into Tuesday.Click here to see slide show.
Flooding remains the
biggest issue as the island is still being flooded from both
sides. The sound and ocean run together between Frisco and
Hatteras, and also Rodanthe. The ocean remains huge as onlookers
stand on the dunes watching in awe of the huge waves and magnificent
spray which can be seen from far away.
The winds have gradually
shifted more to the west this afternoon and soundside flooding
continues to be the main concern at the moment. The water has
gone down slightly in some areas but still coming up in others as the
winds track around as Sandy moves north and west of the area.
Forecasters are predicting winds to go southwest later on.
morning, I was lucky enough to catch a ride with Dare County Sheriff’s
Department as two officers, Investigators Doug Oberbeck and Eddie
Harper made rounds throughout Buxton and Avon in their behemoth 5 ton
truck with six wheel drive.
The ocean was flowing freely through
the Buxton motels at high tide this morning. Hwy 12 was heavily
covered in sand which made travel through this spot difficult even for
this truck. But once north of this area, travel was easy until
the Haul-over area a.k.a. the Canadian Hole which was picturesque with
the sound waters making huge sprays as water slammed into the bulkhead.
there, HWY 12 was pretty much covered over by sound water which was
deeper in the south end of Avon. It was slow going throughout
Avon due to water. Cars were parked in a variety of places with
higher ground like Ace Hardware, the movie theatre, Avon Post
Office and Spa Koru.
The old village in Avon had significantly
more water with most streets having a least knee high water.
Several vehicles sat in engine-high water and several lower houses
looked like they were on the brink of flooding. Investigator
Oberbeck was driving very slowly through the narrow streets – partly to
protect the truck and also to not create a large wake into someone’s
home. The water was so high in some areas that it was hard to see
where the road was.
The officers continued their patrol
throughout Avon before heading back to Buxton. The water was
beginning to recede a bit as we headed south.
travels, I learned that the Sheriff’s Department had large trucks also
in Hatteras as well as the tri-villages. Travel was nearly
impossible north of the Top Dog (café) in Waves due to high water and
sand on the road. The road north of Rodanthe had several issues.
our travels, distress calls were taken by the investigators from
visitors calling for help, frightened by the rising waters. Most
situations were handled as normal flooding to be expected during this
storm and no action was required. However, earlier in Buxton,
there was a call from visitors staying in an oceanfront house that felt
that the house was coming apart. Six people were removed from the
structure that had indeed suffered a lot of damage by the hand of
After the ride with the Sheriff’s Department, I
took a walk to check out the Buxton oceanfront. Streets off of
Old Lighthouse road were thigh deep with water and a lot of debris was
at the end of Cottage and Ocean Ave. Several cottages seemed to
have sustained significant damage. One had water pouring out of
it and another was missing its steps. Several had missing
shingles and siding while another was missing its front deck.
pool area at the Lighthouse View Motel was ripped apart. Chunks
of concrete were broken up and strewn about. The hot tub was
sitting naked without any outside covering. The little building
that stood next to the pool had been washed towards the motel
building. And there was the pool itself which had sustained a lot
Before leaving the Buxton oceanfront, a sad looking
pelican sat on a remaining dune. Like many water birds during a
long storm like Sandy, they are unable to hunt for food and get worn
down and exhausted. He was easy to catch and is now resting
comfortably in my yard with my pet ducks. When he is ready, he
will fly away. For now, he is happy.
Travel back to Frisco
was slow going as water continued to flow across the road in the usual
area. The stretch of water between Diamond Shoals Restaurant and
Buxton Fire Department had shrunk a little since morning as had the
place near Conner’s Supermarket.
It was clear driving for a
few miles on HWY 12 until the Brigand’s Bay area in Frisco which had
several areas of high water there and beyond. Driving
through the area is not advised since it was salt water from the
sound. The neighborhoods in this area had deep water as
well. Parts of Brigand’s Bay were not passable and the canal that
passed under Spencer’s Lane was so swollen with sound water that it
flowed over the road.
With travel being so severely hampered by
flooded roads and the only store that I saw open today
being Conner’s Supermarket; people had little to do to keep
occupied. Unfortunately, the island has been without
internet for most of the day and cell service has been spotty.
Today, people were without Facebook for news and entertainment.
Century Link expects to have service restored by evening.
Let’s hope that tomorrow will be better.