October 5, 2015
Highway remains open on Hatteras, butThe
rain, wind, and high surf caused by a coastal low pressure area pounded
away at Hatteras and Ocracoke islands for another day on Monday.
Ocracoke under water...WITH SLIDE SHOW
By IRENE NOLAN
For the most part, roads on Hatteras Island were open, and it was
business as usual, though the heavy rain and tidal flooding kept
Ocracoke closed down.
Highway 12 on Hatteras Island has not been closed at all, although
travel was slow through high standing water and over wet sand. In many
spots, the rule was "one lane at a time."
The heaviest ocean overwash on Hatteras Island was in the north Buxton
area, where huge waves pounded away at oceanfront motels and houses,
turning side streets into rivers. There was also some overwash in
northern Hatteras village, where many of the streets were flooded by a
combination of standing rainwater and soundside flooding.
The heavy rain also brought plenty of standing water in the usual places through the tri-villages and in Avon and Frisco.
Ocracoke was another story. A stretch of the dune line on the
island's north end, between the pony pens and the ferry docks, was
flattened late last week, and ocean overwash, enhanced by the heavy
rains, has kept Highway 12 closed since Friday night. The
Hatteras-Ocracoke ferries are not running.
Ocracoke village streets look more like small lakes from combined
soundside flooding and heavy rains. The island remains closed to
all but residents and off-island property owners, and many villagers
have resorted to kayaks to get around.
Hatteras and Ocracoke have seen two weeks now of rainy weather -- heavy
rain at times -- and stiff northeast winds that have pushed up water
levels along the ocean front and sent high waves crashing onto beaches,
causing significant erosion.
"The end is in sight," Jim Merrell, a forecaster with the National Weather Service in Morehead City, said late this afternoon.
Merrell said the rain will decrease to light to moderate overnight,
with a chance of rain still in the forecast for Tuesday. The drying
will begin Tuesday night and really get underway on Wednesday, which is
forecast to be partly cloudy with highs in the mid-70s.
The winds will diminish slowly through the week, though they will
remain from the north-northeast until a cold front approaches on
Friday. However, Merrell said, tonight's 20 to 25 mph winds will
be below 15 by Wednesday. Seas will diminish to 8 to 12 feet.
The torrential rains have also brought some record rainfall amounts.
Merrell said that from Friday, Sept. 25, through 8 a.m. this morning --
10 days -- 13.15 inches of rainfall was measured at Billy Mitchell
Airport in Frisco.
Merrell said forecasters are hopeful that this afternoon's high tide
was the highest we will see on the oceanfront. The Weather Service has
extended the coastal flood warning to 5 a.m. on Tuesday, and Merrell
said that may need to be extended slightly to cover tomorrow
afternoon's high tide, about 3 p.m.
The wind advisory remains in effect until midnight for winds gusting up to 40 mph.
All Cape Hatteras National Seashore visitor facilities remained closed today.
The North Carolina Department of Transportation advises that drivers
should proceed with caution and avoid driving through standing water if
possible. NCDOT maintenance crews continue to work to clear the road
south of the Bonner Bridge.
Updates will be posted on the NCDOT N.C. 12 Facebook page as they are received.
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