December 11, 2012
Coastal low threatens Highway 12 repair
By IRENE NOLAN
National Weather Service in Newport, N.C., has issued a coastal flood
advisory for minor ocean overwash, especially along Highway 12 in
northern Rodanthe, from 7 p.m. on Wednesday until 7 p.m. on Thursday.
Service forecasters expect a coastal low will develop off the southeast
coast on Wednesday and track just off the coast into Thursday.
pressure gradient between the low pressure near the Gulf Stream and
high pressure over Pennsylvania will bring gusty northeast winds, rough
seas, and heavy rain from Wednesday night into Thursday.
Weather Service has also issued a gale warning for the coastal waters
for winds that will increase to 25 to 35 mph and persist through early
Thursday. Seas are predicted to be in the 6- to 9-foot range.
There will also be high astronomical tides for the next few days because of the new moon.
high seas and wind could play havoc with the North Carolina Department
of Transportations crews and contractors who are repairing Highway 12
near the S-curves north of Rodanthe.
Pablo Hernandez, resident
construction engineer on the project, said today that crews have made
good progress toward the DOT goal of opening up the highway to all
traffic on or before Christmas Day.
This newest storm, he said, was “unfortunate timing.”
“I’m not to a comfort level that I would like to be,” Hernandez said about the impending storm.
work crews and contractors battled two northeasters after Hurricane
Sandy passed by the Outer Banks in late October. Winds and ocean
overwash continued from early November right through Thanksgiving.
today, crews had placed about 500 of the 1,800 sandbags needed to
create a protective barrier between the ocean and the road. Once all of
the sandbags are in place, the dunes will be rebuilt on top of the
Hernandez said he expects that placing the remaining sandbags will take about 3 ½ to 4 weeks to place.
today, he said, the old roadbed has been cleared of broken-up asphalt
and graded and was almost ready for contractors to lay down the new
asphalt. However, that can’t happen now until after the storm
Hernandez said he expects that the road will be reopened before the sandbag work is completed.
there is a four-wheel-drive only route through the four-tenths of a
mile of damaged road at the S-curves, and that also could be threatened
at high tide, especially on Thursday. High tide Thursday is about
6 a.m. and 6 p.m.
The only other access to Hatteras Island is currently by ferry.