Driving to Cape Point not prohibited,
but not recommended
By IRENE NOLAN
National Park Service this morning lifted the prohibition on driving
off-road vehicle route to Cape Point, but posted signs that
travel on the badly eroded beach is not recommended.
"Overnight the condition improved very slightly, allowing the sloped
beach below the high-tide line and escarpment to be at slightly less of
an angle," Hatteras Island district ranger Joe Darling said on Thursday
"We are past the full moon. However, waves and tides are still quite high," he added.
Darling warns especially that drivers who travel to the Point at low
tide, which is around 1:30 p.m. today, may not be able to return at
high tide, which is about 7:30 p.m.
There are two severely eroded areas with escarpments -- carved out
areas. One is between Ramp 43 and Ramp 44, and the other is in
the area of the Narrows between Ramp 44 and Cape Point.
Ramp 44 remains closed because of flooding from heavy rains in early
October storms and more storms last week. Ramp 43 is the only ramp for
vehicles to get access to Cape Point, and, thus drivers must pass both
A warning is posted on the yellow sign that cautions that the beach may be impassable during times of high tide. It reads:
"Due to a hazardous
condition, vehicular travel is not recommended past this
location. Enter at your own risk. Areas are impassable to
vehicles at high tide due to eroded beach conditions. Vehicles
that venture past this location may not be able to safely return during
many tide conditions, plan accordingly to return during low tide
The National Weather Service in Morehead City, N.C., warns that the
high seas could persist through the weekend. Currently, the
Weather Service has a small craft advisory for areas from Oregon Inlet
to Ocracoke Inlet until 7 p.m. on Sunday.
The Weather Service is not forecasting particularly high winds, but
says in its marine forecast that the northeast swell will continue to
build because of a broad low pressure far offshore and a Canadian high
to the north. Winds are forecast only at 10 to 15 knots with some
gusts to 20, but seas will build to as high as 8 to 10 feet Friday into
The northeast swell, the Weather Service says, could continue into the
middle of next week as another strong high builds south from New