October 9, 2013

UPDATE: Rain and wind lash Hatteras and
Ocracoke, but Highway 12 stays open


A coastal low brought high winds and torrential rains to Hatteras and Ocracoke islands yesterday, last night, and into today, but Highway 12 remained open.

According to the N.C. Department of Transportation’s Facebook page, 8 to 10 inches of water covered both lanes of Highway 12 just south of the temporary bridge after this morning’s high tide.  There was also standing water in northern Rodanthe, at the S-curves, and at a few places on Pea Island.

Some of the ocean water on the road in northern Rodanthe was pouring down the driveways of oceanfront cottages in Mirlo Beach and onto the highway.

DOT crews continue to work on keep the road clear of sand and water and will keep working overnight.

The high winds also closed down the ferries to and from Ocracoke this morning, but all were operating this evening.

Brian Cullen, meteorologist with the National Weather Service Office in Newport, N.C., said late this afternoon that the elongated low pressure area was located just off Cape Lookout and would continue to slowly pull north over the next few days.

Winds slacked some as the day went on, but Cullen said a shift tonight to the north and northwest could bring higher than normal tides along the soundside on southern Hatteras and Ocracoke, but, he added, that nothing serious was expected.

Coastal flood advisories for the ocean will expire at 8 p.m.

Northeast winds gusted to 40 to 45 miles per hour at times overnight, and the rain just kept coming.

Cullen said that a weather observer on Ocracoke reported 3.6 inches in his rain gauge as of 8 a.m., and radar estimates show that southern Hatteras could have received about 5 to 6 inches of rain, also by 8 a.m.

He said the rainfall totals will probably come in somewhere around 4 inches with locally higher amounts.

The gloomy weather will be slow to clear out, Cullen said. Thursday and Friday are forecast to be not quite as windy and rainy, but there will be a chance of precipitation each day. 

We might see some sunshine by late Friday, he said, though an upper level system could bring back unsettled weather for the weekend.

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