September 21, 2014
Coastal low dumps up to 5.25
inches of rain on Hatteras
By IRENE NOLAN
low pressure system that formed off the southeast coast late on Friday
sent extremely heavy rainfall onto Hatteras Island, especially the
southern part of the island, on Saturday, Sept. 20, as it headed
According to the National Weather Service office in
Newport, N.C., unofficial totals by trained observers for the 24 hours
ending at 7 a.m. this morning were 5.35 inches in Hatteras village and
3.32 in Salvo, where the rain started later in the day and was not as
The cloudbursts on southern Hatteras began around 8 a.m.
on Saturday morning, let up for a three or four hours in the afternoon,
and then started again in earnest about 4:30. It continued, heavy
at times, until after daylight on Sunday.
The heavy rain caused treacherous ponding of water in roadways, especially through Frisco and in Hatteras village.
Sunday morning, the stormwater just north of Hatteras village and in
parts of the village was up to 18 inches to 2 feet along Highway
12. Motorists were stopped at each side of the ponded water,
letting one car go through the water at a time.
Hatteras, there were a few inches of rainwater in the usual spots that
flood in Salvo and some water in the highway at Mirlo Beach, though it
was unclear if that water was from the downpours or from ocean overwash.
According to motorists, there were no problems at the temporary bridge or in the "canal zone" just south of the Bonner Bridge.
Island's Day at the Docks celebration continued along the Hatteras
village docks as planned from late morning until late afternoon
The celebration was larger with more exhibits, food,
entertainment, and events than ever before, and drew a record crowd
despite the heavy rain.
In some of the cloudbursts in the late
morning and again in late afternoon, visitors took refuge under the
many tents, though they paraded through the puddles in the parking lots
along the docks like troopers in between.
Every possible parking
spot along Highway 12 in the heart of the villages and in many lots and
grassy areas was taken by cars and trucks.
Also, Tony Tata,
Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Transportation, made a
brief appearance at the Day at the Docks celebration.
any public notice, Tata flew into Billy Mitchell airport in Frisco and
was driven north on Highway 12 to the beach restoration project at the
S-curves and northern Rodanthe and to the temporary bridge at Pea
Then he attended a by-invitation only presentation of
"Mapping our Future," Gov. Pat McCrory's recently released 25-year plan
for the state's transportation infrastructure. The meeting was at
the Fessenden Center, and the general public and the media were not
addition to Tata and his assistant, Andrew Bell, who traveled here with
him, these persons attended: Warren Judge , chairman of the Dare
County Board of Commissioners, who organized the presentation; Jerry
Jennings and Pablo Hernandez of the N.C. Department of Transportation;
Malcolm Fearing, District 1 member of the state Board of
Transportation; Paul Tine, Democratic candidate for N. C. House of
Representatives, District 6, who also currently holds that seat; Mattie
Lawson, Tine's Republican opponent; Wally Overman, Republican candidate
for Dare County Board of Commissioners, District 1; Maragerette
Umphlett, Republican candidate for the county Board of Commissioners,
District 1; Browny Douglas, chairman of the Dare County Republican
Party; Beth Midgett, chairwoman of the county's Citizen's Committee to
Replace the Bonner Bridge; Susan Flythe, general manager of the Cape
Hatteras Electric Cooperative; John Hooper of Buxton, former county
commissioner, and George Banks of Hatteras village, who was hosting
Overman and Douglas at his home for the weekend.
Judge said that
he received a call from Tata's office late on Friday afternoon asking
him if he could put some people together on Saturday to hear about the
25-year plan. He said that he was asked to invite the Board of
Commissioners, the town mayors, and some civic and community leaders,
which he did. He added that not all of those who attended came at his
invitation and most of the elected officials could not make it on such
Finally, Tata made a short visit to Day at the
Docks, where he shook hands and answered a few questions before he went
back to the airport to leave.
When a reporter asked about
the recurring overwash at the south end of the temporary bridge at Pea
Island Inlet, he said that Jerry Jennings, District 1 engineer, "knows
something needs to be done with the temporary bridge location in the
You can view the "Mapping our Future" plan at http://www.ncdot.gov/ncvision25/.