October 4, 2015
Outer Banks braces for high winds andAfter
the surprise of a warm sunny day on Saturday, the Outer Banks is
bracing for the possibility of high winds and coastal flooding tonight
coastal flooding...WITH SLIDE SHOW
By IRENE NOLAN
The National Weather Service in Newport has issued a coastal flood
warning for the area until 8 p.m. on Monday and a wind advisory until
midnight on Tuesday.
The forecast calls for high surf, minor to moderate water level rises
of 2 to 4 feet, and moderate dune erosion, coastal flooding, and ocean
overwash, especially at times of high tide -- about 1:45 a.m. tonight
and about 2 tomorrow afternoon. Breaking waves are expected to be
between 8 and 12 feet, possibly reaching 15 feet.
After battering the Bahamas and threatening the U.S. East Coast,
powerful Hurricane Joaquin has continued to move out to sea. The the
winds peaked yesterday at 155 mph. This afternoon, the storm was moving
northeast toward Bermuda with winds down to 105 mph and it is expected
to pass west of that island today.
Even though Joaquin will pass hundreds of miles to the east of Hatteras
and Ocracoke, the islands are being affected by ocean swells from the
storm and many days of persistent onshore winds that have been
The combination of a coastal low off the southeast coast and high
pressure to the north will tightened the pressure gradient to bring
strong onshore winds from today into tomorrow. The Weather
Service is forecasting winds of 15 to 25 with gusts to 40 mph.
Gale warnings are also in effect for the coastal waters.
After yesterday's lull, the rain picked up again this afternoon as the
coastal low moved toward the North Carolina coast, and it is expected
to continue into Monday. Standing water on the roadways in a
problem in places in all of the villages, especially the northern end
of Hatteras, Avon around Kinnakeet Shores, and the tri-villages.
At this afternoon's high tide, around 1:30, oceanwash was pouring over
the dunes in north Buxton. Some overwash was also reported around
Sandy Bay, just outside Hatteras village, and in front of the village's
Ocean overwash has already closed Highway 12 on north Ocracoke between
the Pony Pens and the Hatteras-Ocracoke ferry dock. The ferry is
not running, and the island is under an evacuation order and state of
emergency with only residents, non-resident property owners, and
limited vendors allowed on via the Swan Quarter or Cedar Island ferries.
The ocean is breaking on -- if not over the dunes -- in all parts of
the seashore. All off-road vehicle ramps are closed and Park
Service facilities and campgrounds are shuttered. Even pedestrian
access is difficult on most beaches on and either side of high tide.
Highway 12 on Hatteras Island remains open at this time, but emergency
officials will be closely monitoring tomorrow's early morning high tide
at about 1:45 a.m. and the early afternoon high tide at about 2 p.m.
Hatteras Island had no evacuations last week, and visitors are being allowed on the island.
Conditions will be improving late Monday into Tuesday with sunny skies and a high of about 73 forecast for Wednesday.
Meanwhile, residents and visitors should closely monitor weather and road conditions.
For the most up to date information regarding road conditions along
Highway 12, visit the NCDOT NC 12 Facebook Page at
facebook.com/NCDOT. For other road conditions, call
1-877-DOT-4YOU or 1-877-638-4968, or dial 511.
For the latest weather updates, warning, watches, and advisories, go the local Weather Service website at www.weather.gov/mhx.
CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE SLIDE SHOW