November 2, 2014

UPDATE: High winds, heavy seas cause
sound and ocean flooding


The coastal low that formed off the North Carolina coast yesterday and deepened impressively as it wound up and started moving northeast last night brought both high winds and some coastal flooding on Hatteras and Ocracoke islands.

Saturday was breezy all day, but winds started picking up in the late afternoon and into the evening.  By late Saturday night and into Sunday morning, the wind was whipping from the northwest. 

Unofficial reports from residents on southern Hatteras Island had the wind gusting to between 60 and 70 mph.

As was forecast, the northwest winds pushed water levels higher on the Pamlico Sound, especially in the island's southern villages.

In Frisco, there was minor soundside flooding in yards and on some roads. In Hatteras village, Highway 12 was underwater in low-lying areas.

The northeast swell on the ocean from the departing low pressure system caused high surf and ocean overwash in north Buxton and on Pea Island, although Highway 12 was not closed at any time.

At high tide late around 4 p.m., water covered both lanes of Highway 12 just south of the temporary bridge.  An automated traffic signal was directing traffic into one lane.  Several dune breaches were also reported with wet sand on the road in the canal zone just south of the Bonner Bridge and just north of the temporary bridge.  No saltwater remained on the road there.

There was also ocean overwash on Highway 12 in north Buxton at this afternoon's high tide. Water at one of the motels was reported to be about 3 feet deep -- though it is not that deep on the road.

The National Weather Service has continued a coastal flood advisory for ocean overwash on northern Hatteras until 7 a.m. Overwash can be expected around high tide -- between 4 and 5 a.m. -- at the temporary bridge and probably in north Buxton.

The high surf advisory has been continued until 10 a.m.

Ferries  between Hatteras and Ocracoke stopped running early Saturday evening, and started up again late this morning.  Some early morning sound ferries to Cedar Island also were cancelled, but those runs were back to normal this evening.

Though some folks might have decided against heading to Ocracoke for the Blackbeard's Pirate Jamboree, attendance there was still reported as good, though there were some adjustments to the event schedule because of the weather.

The blustery winds today should decrease significantly on Monday.  After a low in the 40s tonight, temperatures will rebound to about 60 tomorrow and the upper 60s by Tuesday.

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