UPDATE: Awful Arthur takes aim at Cape Hatteras
By IRENE NOLAN
5 p.m., the center of Hurricane Arthur was about 185 miles southwest of
Cape Hatteras, moving north/northeast at 13 mph.
The winds were still 90 mph, but an increase in wind speed is still expected.
The storm is forecast to come perilously close to Cape Hatteras overnight as a Category 2 hurricane with winds of about 100 mph.
at 5 p.m., the storm was south of Wilmington, N.C., and the National
Hurricane Center's cone of uncertainty -- which shows the
projected path of the storm -- had narrowed considerably.
in the week, there was some hope that the hurricane would pass the Cape
offshore, sparing Hatteras and Ocracoke from the worst of the
storm. However, the Cape is now on the eastern edge of the cone,
so it's all but certain now that the storm will pass to the west of
Hatteras and Ocracoke.
Some models are showing it making
landfall southwest of the islands, perhaps around Bogue Banks, and
moving north/northeast up the Pamlico Sound and exiting the Outer Banks
at about Oregon Inlet.
The Weather Service in Newport, N.C., is
forecasting sustained winds of about 83 mph with gusts over 100. The
potential wind impact has been raised from moderate to high.
say that there is the potential for heavy rains of 2-5 inches, locally
7 inches along the southern coastal areas, damaging winds, isolated
tornadoes, and significant coastal flooding.
This afternoon, the Weather Service elevated its potential coastal flooding threat from moderate to high.
level rises of 3 to 5 feet above ground level can be expected for areas
adjacent to the sounds and along oceanfront beaches -- with higher
amounts in some locations.
Significant ocean overwash is
expected on the Outer Banks. Moderate to major beach erosion is
forecast, along with very high surf and dangerous rip currents.
Soundside flooding when the winds shift to northwest will be moderate on the southern Outer Banks -- from 3 to 5 feet.
Seas are expected to be 15 to 25 feet.
County issued a mandatory evacuation order late yesterday for a
residents of and visitors to Hatteras Island and sent out bulletins
this afternoon, urging folks to leave the island because of the
increasing storm intensity.
"Those who do not evacuate should be
prepared to sustain themselves for at least 72 hours," a Dare County
news release said. "Be aware that emergency personnel may be unable to
respond to calls for help during high winds. During and after the
storm there is the risk of impassable roads due to soundside flooding
and ocean overwash. And, access to essential goods and services
may be disrupted. There are no Red Cross approved shelters in
Ocracoke had only a voluntary evacuation that began yesterday afternoon.
storm is forecast to move northeast away from the Outer Banks quickly
tomorrow morning with improving conditions and cooler and drier
The local NWS weather service office in Newport's website is http://www.weather.gov/mhx/. The National Hurricane Center can be found at http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/.
To receive email alerts directly from Dare County Emergency Management, visit www.darecountyem.com,
and follow @DareCoEM on Twitter. The Dare County Emergency
Operations Center will be operating throughout the storm and may
be reached at 252-475-5655 or visit www.darenc.com for updated information.
Dare County Control Group met late on Wednesday and issued a mandatory
evacuation order for residents of and visitors to Hatteras Island
beginning at 5 a.m. Thursday. After 5 a.m. Thursday, no access
was allowed to Hatteras Island.
A State of Emergency has
been issued for all of Dare County with the only restriction being the
mandatory evacuation of Hatteras Island.
on the most recent data from the National Hurricane Center, Hyde County
officials declared a county-wide state of emergency as well as a
voluntary evacuation for Ocracoke Island. Both were effective at 2 p.m.
yesterday. There is a curfew on Ocracoke tonight from 8 p.m. until 8
JULY 4 EVENTS
of the approaching tropical storm Arthur, the Avon Fireworks Committee,
Avon Property Owners’ Association, Koru Village, Pyrotecnico, and Dare
County have made a joint decision to reschedule the July 4 fireworks
show on the Avon Fishing Pier, tentatively to Monday, July 7 at 9 p.m.
storm is expected to pass close to Cape Hatteras on Friday, July 4 with
winds and rain that would prohibit the fireworks show from taking
Because of the weekend turnover in rental houses with
visitors coming to the island, a decision was made to postpone the
fireworks show until Monday to ensure that all residents and guests
have ample time to prepare a proper celebration of Independence Day,
complete with fireworks display, as planned.
Fireworks Committee will reconvene on Friday, July 4 to confirm these
plans after the storm has passed. Should adjustments be made to
the tentative plans, there will be another news release on Friday
The Fireworks Committee and Avon Property Owners’
Association would like to thank the National Park Service, Koru
Village, Dare County, Pyrotecnico, and all of the event sponsors for
their flexibility, cooperation and support.
July 4 events in Hatteras village have been cancelled.
Cancellations: Donald Davis storytelling, Ocracoke ponies, and classic car show.
until the July 5: Sand Sculpture Contest, Fig Cake Bake-Off, Parade
(registration place may change), Pirates on Stage (one performance only
at 1 p.m.), Evening celebration/Square Dance/Dance Party with the
Rockers at Community Square.
Pending: Lighthouse opening for viewing, flag raising ceremony.
A revised schedule of times and venues will be posted when available.
NATIONAL PARK SERVICE
Outer Banks Group National Parks, Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Fort
Raleigh National Historic Site, and Wright Brothers National Memorial,
closed down most of its facilities on the Cape Hatteras National
Seashore on Wednesday.
NPS campgrounds -- Ocracoke, Frisco, Cape Point and Oregon Inlet --
closed at noon Wednesday and will remain closed until further
notice. The Ocracoke campground reservation system has been
- Silver Lake Marina NPS docks closed at noon Wednesday, July 2.
and Hatteras Island NPS Visitor Centers closed Wednesday and will
remain closed until further notice. Bodie Island Visitor Center,
Wright Brothers National Memorial and Fort Raleigh National Historic
Site will be closed Thursday and Friday, July 3 and 4. Previously
scheduled evening programs are cancelled as of today until further
- Lifeguard beach operations at Ocracoke, Buxton, and Coquina are closed until further notice.
Cape Hatteras Lighthouse is closed until further notice. All park
special programs scheduled have been cancelled until further notice.
- The Bodie Island Lighthouse is closed and the climbing reservation system will be temporarily suspended beginning Thursday.
- All NPS beaches closed to off-road vehicles at 9 p.m. Wednesday and will remain closed until further notice.
- The Buxton, Ocracoke, and Bodie Island permit offices are closed until further notice.
ROADS AND FERRIES
N.C. Department of Transportation is keeping a close eye on Hurricane
Arthur and making preparations to ensure it is ready to respond if
needed. Crews in the coastal divisions are checking equipment to make
sure it is working properly, topping off their fuel tanks and staging
equipment as necessary prior to the storm’s arrival.
Outer Banks, crews are staging front-end loaders, motor graders and
bulldozers along Highway 12 in Ocracoke, Rodanthe and Pea Island, south
of the Bonner Bridge, in Dare and Hyde counties. This is in
addition to other equipment already at the maintenance yards in Manteo,
Ocracoke and Buxton. NCDOT has more equipment ready to mobilize if
needed, as well as employees prepared to patrol Highway 12 during and
after the storm.
Crews inspected emergency ferry docks in
Rodanthe and Stumpy Point to ensure the sites are ready if needed. The
larger 180-foot ferries are already in use nearby at the
Hatteras-Ocracoke route in case an emergency ferry route is needed once
the storm passes.
The ferries cannot safely operate once winds
reach about 30-35 miles per hour. The Ferry Division expects brief
service interruptions as Hurricane Arthur proceeds up the North
provide real-time information about travel conditions through its
feeds. As the storm approaches, the department will
send out tweets about road closures, flooding, ferry cancellations
and evacuation routes. Valuable travel information is also available
through the department’s other social media tools – Facebook and
You can access social media feeds and other summer storm information
on the NCDOT website.
resources on the website include: