December 21, 2012

High winds close down Hatteras-Ocracoke ferry 

Travelers using the Hatteras-Ocracoke ferry route will encounter suspensions because of extreme high winds caused by a winter storm today, tonight, and tomorrow.

Winds of 40 mph, gusting to 50 mph, coupled with shallow water depth at the inlet, are making conditions such that it is unsafe to cross. Operations were suspended this morning.
The Pamlico Sound routes from Swan Quarter and Cedar Island to Ocracoke could also  suspend operations because of the high winds.

Information about closures, if they occur, will be posted to Twitter and recorded on the 800-BY-FERRY number, weather information option 1.

The North Carolina Department of Transportation was reporting early this afternoon that there was some sand and ocean overwash on Highway 12 near the S-curves in northern Rodanthe, but that the road is passable.

Crews are standing by to keep the highway open and clean off sand and water that could accumulate at this afternoon’s high tide at about 2:40.

In the wake of a strong cold front that passed through the area early this morning, The National Weather Service at Newport, N.C., has issued a wind advisory and a coastal flood advisory that are in effect through Saturday evening.

Winds are forecast to blow at 25 to 35 mph from the west with gusts up to 50 mph through tomorrow evening.  The west winds could cause minor soundside flooding on the backside of Hatteras and Ocracoke islands.

Currently, water levels on the soundside in Frisco are high, but there is no flooding yet.
For up-to-date status on the situation at Hatteras-Ocracoke ferry and other routes, travelers can sign-up to receive messages on Twitter by going to or call the Hatteras terminal at 252-986-2353 for updates.

Update on Highway 12 travel is available on DOT’s N.C. 12 Facebook page at!/NCDOTNC12

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