The wind blows, and the
water flows .....WITH
north and northeast winds have battered Hatteras Island for almost a
week now, and the ocean has continued to pour across Highway 12 and the
four-wheel-drive route just west of the road at each high tide.
The video with this article, shot by Don Bowers at yesterday’s high
tide, is pretty much how the area of north Mirlo Beach and the S-curves
has looked for days.
The National Weather Service at Newport, N.C., issued coastal flood and
high surf warnings last week, and they remain into effect until 7 p.m. on
After that, the winds will slowly subside into Thanksgiving Day, and
the weather later in the week is forecast to be sunny and less windy.
Not much rain has fallen with the coastal low that formed off the
southeast coast over the weekend and slowly moved northeast of the
area. However, cloudy skies with intermittent light rain and drizzle
have persisted for days.
The heavy winds without much rain to wash off the transmission lines
contributed to a power outage early this morning on Hatteras and
Ocracoke, according to Susan Flythe, vice-president and general manager
of the Cape Hatteras Electric Cooperative.
Flythe said salt accumulation caused an insulator on the 115kV lines to
fail north of Avon. The outage lasted almost three hours from
3:36 until 6:27 a.m.
The four-wheel-drive route at the S-curves has been closed from three
or four hours before and after high tide for the past several days.
Before Saturday, closures at high tide were shorter.
High tide has been about mid-day, closing the route for much of the
daytime. Dare County Sheriff’s Department pilot cars have
been escorting vehicles through the route before dawn and after dusk.
Even with the heavy northeast winds, the emergency ferry between Stumpy
Point and Rodanthe has continued to run. The ferry lines have
been long at times, but everyone seems to be getting to and from
Sustained winds of 25 to 30 mph with gusts over 40 have been common on
Hatteras and Ocracoke for three days now. And creeks,
marshes, and canals on the southern end of Hatteras have been filling
up with water all day, though most of our soundside flooding occurs on
This evening, many islanders in Frisco and Hatteras villages were
moving vehicles to higher ground “just in case.”
Even as the wind kept blowing and the ocean kept flowing over the
northern Rodanthe area, the Dare County Board of Commissioners
continued to discuss nourishing the beach in that area.
County manager Bobby Outten reported to the board that he had been
looking into feasibility and costs as the members had asked him to do.
He said he had met with Nags Head officials and talked with a
consultant on Nags Head’s 10-mile nourishment project, completed in
The consultant was familiar with the northern Rodanthe area and thought
a nourishment project there was “doable.”
He estimated that it would take fewer than the 6 ½ years it took Nags
Head to study and complete the project, maybe three years, and that the
cost would be about $20 to $24 million, about two-thirds of the cost of
the south Nags Head project.
The commissioners instructed Outten to proceed with a request for
qualifications from consulting firms for a possible Rodanthe
A nourishment project at Rodanthe is in the earliest stages of
discussion. The National Park Service generally opposes beach
nourishment, but some commissioners have questioned whether the Park
Service still owns the land in Rodanthe or if the property it once
owned has totally eroded.
Also, there have been no discussions on how a Rodanthe nourishment
project would be financed.
Also, last night, Warren Judge reported that Jim Trogdon, chief
executive officer of the North Carolina Department of Transportation,
met today with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service personnel to discuss the
future of Highway 12 through the S-curves.
No decisions were made, he said. And NCDOT is still waiting
until the ocean overwash subsides and it can determine how much room is
left to restore the dunes and sandbags that were once there.
The North Carolina Coastal Resources Commission has given the county
permission to build the sandbag line higher and wider than it
Only four-wheel drives vehicles are permitted on the route.
There are checkpoints north of the Bonner Bridge and in Mirlo Beach in
The route may well be closed around the times of high tide.
To find out road conditions on the route and on Hatteras, click on the
flashing yellow icon at the top of the Island Free Press Front Page.
NCDOT asks motorists to follow these important safety measures on the
four-wheel drive access:
drive four-wheel drive vehicles with a high ground clearance.
Cross-over four-wheel drive vehicles that are lower to the ground may
get stuck in the rugged terrain;
you drive at night, use extreme caution. There will be no lights staged
along the route, so your vehicle’s headlights will offer the only way
for you to see;
close attention to the temporary traffic signals and
four-wheel drive vehicles are encouraged to lower tire pressure to
minimize the chances of becoming stuck.
The emergency ferry is open to everyone, including visitors.
Those wishing to use the emergency route are reminded to expect waits
and to be patient, as priority status is still in effect. Repair and
supply trucks have priority at all times. Dare County residents have
priority Monday through Friday.
The waits have been long – hours at times -- on the emergency ferry,
which takes at least two hours to cross the sound. You are
advised to arrive early and be patient. You might also
consider bring water, coffee, soft drinks, and snacks.
Directions to the Stumpy Point Emergency Ferry Dock at 100 Log Storage
Road, off Highway 264: Take Highway 64 to Highway
264. Follow Highway 264 approximately 13 miles past the
entrance to the village of Stumpy Point. Signs for emergency
ferry service are posted to ferry entrance that will be on your
Directions to the Rodanthe Emergency Ferry Dock at 23170 Myrna Peters
Road, Rodanthe: Turn west off Highway 12 onto Myrna Peters
Road, which is located just north of the Community Building in
Visitors can now enter Hatteras Island via the Hatteras Inlet ferry.
The ferry is still running every two hours.
The Hatteras-Ocracoke schedule is:
Hatteras at 6 a.m., 8, 10, noon, 2 p.m., 4, 6, 8, 10 and midnight; and
Ocracoke at 5 a.m., 7, 9, 11, 1 p.m., 3, 5, 7, 9 and 11.
visitors wishing to come to Hatteras through Ocracoke, keep in mind
that travel from Cedar Island to Ocracoke and Swan Quarter to Ocracoke
requires a reservation by calling 1-800-293-3779.
Quarter and Cedar Island ferries
The ferries from Swan Quarter and Cedar Island require a reservation.
Many of the Thanksgiving week ferries are already booked, but the Ferry
Division has added three more days of extra departures from each side
on its Swan Quarter-Ocracoke route, to assist with Thanksgiving
traffic. In addition to Nov. 21-25, travelers can now book the
additional departures Monday, Nov. 19; Tues., Nov. 20, and Mon., Nov.
The additional departures include:
Swan Quarter at 7 a.m. and 1 p.m.; and
Ocracoke at 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
a reminder, the regular fall schedule on the Pamlico Sound is:
Cedar Island and Ocracoke at 7:30 a.m., 10, 1 p.m. and 4;
Swan Quarter at 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.; and
Ocracoke to Swan Quarter at 7 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.
same extra departures will continue to be offered on weekends as well,
until Highway 12 reopens north of Rodanthe and the emergency ferry
route is deactivated.
Ferry reservations can be made online at www.ncferry.org or by calling
800-293-3779 (BY-FERRY) and pressing 2. Ferry information is available
via Twitter at www.twitter.com/ncdot_ferry.
For schedules and reservations on the ferries from the mainland to
Ocracoke, go to the N.C. Ferry Division website at
http://www.ncdot.gov/ferry/. The Ferry Division has been adding extra
departures to and from Swan Quarter on the weekends.