advertised, wintry precipitation began mid-morning on Hatteras and
Ocracoke – with a mixture of sleet, snow, and a little bit of freezing
By noon, roads on southern Hatteras Island were getting
slippery in spots and some decks and grassy areas had a trace of snow
Temperatures this afternoon were hovering near freezing
on Hatteras, the north wind was blowing, and the sand was smoking
across Highway 12 in Pea Island.
However, the National Weather Service in Newport, N.C., promises that the worst is yet to come.
winter storm warning is in effect until 4 p.m. on Wednesday, and there
is also a wind advisory for the area – for winds gusting above 40 mph.
Weather Service says that a layer of warmer air aloft – above 2,000
feet -- will keep much of the precipitation early tonight switching
back and forth among sleet, rain, and freezing rain.
temperatures drop overnight, the precipitation will change over to snow
with as much as 2 to 3 inches accumulating on Hatteras and Ocracoke.
heaviest snow, according to NWS meteorologist Bob Frederick, is now
expected north and west of Oregon Inlet, with perhaps 4 to 7 inches
falling on the northern Outer Banks.
Dare County Emergency
Management continues to monitor the weather and advises that road
conditions will deteriorate as the storm approaches. By late this
afternoon, residents are asked to stay home and avoid driving if at all
possible. Although the snow and sleet are expected to end early
Wednesday, roadways will remain hazardous through Friday morning.
gusty winds will also bring higher than normal tide levels on Hatteras
and Ocracoke, though there are no coastal flood advisories.
Frederick cautioned that whether it’s heavy snow, sleet, or freezing
rain, driving conditions will become treacherous tonight and not
A gradual warming trend will start on Friday, and temperatures could be close to 60 over the weekend.
- Some closings were announced late yesterday and this morning, but you can expect more by tomorrow.
- Dare County offices in Frisco closed at noon, though they remained open north of Oregon Inlet, where the snow had not yet begun.
County Schools announced a noon dismissal, but moved that up to 11:20
as the roads began getting icy in spots. Nothing has been announced
about school tomorrow, but it seems likely it will be cancelled.
- All after school activities scheduled through Dare County Parks and Recreation are cancelled.
- In addition, Dare County Transportation cancelled all scheduled appointments for this afternoon.
County District and Superior courts were closed today, and Small Claims
Court will be closed on Wednesday because of the likelihood of
hazardous road conditions. All parties will receive notice of their new
court date via U.S. Mail or may check with their attorney for further
information. Also, Juvenile Court sessions for Wednesday have been
cancelled. For more information, please call the Dare County Clerk of
Courts Office at (252) 475-5200 or visit www.nccourts.org
- Hyde County government offices were closed today and will remain closed Wednesday and Thursday.
Park Service’s Outer Banks Group units -- Cape Hatteras National
Seashore, Fort Raleigh National Historic Site and Wright Brothers
National Memorial – closed today. In anticipation of this weather
event, NPS facilities located on Ocracoke and Hatteras islands closed
at 11 a.m. today. Bodie Island, Wright Brothers National Memorial and
Fort Raleigh National Historic Site closed at noon today. All
facilities will probably remain closed on Wednesday, Jan. 29 or longer,
until the impacts of the storm can be assessed and conditions are safe
for visitor travel.
Power companies on the Outer Banks are making preparations for power
outages. If you lose power or other utilities, do not call 911. Use
customer service numbers to report power outages. Dominion Power:
1-866-366-4357, Tideland: 1-800-882-1001, and Cape
Hatteras: 1-866-511-9862. Freezing rain is a major threat to
power lines on the island – much more than snow, according to Susan
Flythe, general manager of Cape Hatteras Electric Cooperative.
Department of Transportation maintenance crews are ready as winter
weather begins to arrive in the 14 counties making up NCDOT’s Division
One in northeastern North Carolina. Maintenance crews in Bertie,
Camden, Chowan, Currituck, Dare, Gates, Hertford, Hyde, Martin,
Northampton, Pasquotank, Perquimans, Tyrrell and Washington counties
spread salt brine on all N.C. and U.S. routes throughout the region
yesterday, as well as on major secondary roads. Salt brine is a mix of
salt and water used to prevent ice from forming and adhering to road
surfaces. By putting down the brine in advance, the salt has had more
time to adhere to the pavement before any precipitation begins,
providing better protection from snow and ice.
are ready in all 14 counties to plow roads and spread salt and sand
where necessary. Precipitation had already begun falling this afternoon
in areas closer to Hyde and Dare counties. Because the winter weather
is forecast to begin this afternoon and continue overnight through
tomorrow, crews will work in shifts around the clock to clear roads and
make sure that they are safe for motorists.
addition to crews already in Division One, additional trucks and crews
are mobilizing to the region from areas in the western part of the
state where they are not forecasted to have a significant accumulation.
Dare County advises residents to make final preparations as soon as possible.
a household emergency supply kit, including a supply of drinking water
and non-perishable foods. Bottled water or water in containers should
be stored should utilities be disrupted.
- Provide shelter for pets.
- Keep cell phones charged.
that flashlights and a battery-powered radio are in good working order.
Have plenty of batteries. Use of candles and other open-flame light
sources is not recommended.
- Dress appropriately with head and hands covered if you go outdoors in temperatures below freezing.
- Avoid over-exertion. Cold weather puts a strain on the heart, even without exercise.
- Check on neighbors and relatives. The elderly are especially susceptible to hypothermia and falls on icy surfaces.
For more information on weather and road conditions, go to http://www.erh.noaa.gov/er/mhx/ or Http://www.darenc.com.