Ramp 44 reopens, but eroded beaches are hindering Cape Point access
By IRENE NOLAN
Cape Hatteras National Seashore officials opened Ramp 44 on Friday,
Dec. 18, for the first time since it was flooded by record
rainfall in early October.
According to NPS Hatteras District Ranger Joe Darling, about 4 to 6 inches of water remains in the ramp.
However, even though Ramp 43 and 44 are both now open, the Park Service is not recommending that ORVS try to reach Cape Point.
"The beaches are heavily eroded and present substantial hazards,"
Darling said. He added that conditions in the area change daily and
seem to be getting worse.
Darling said that the beaches both north and south of Ramp 44 are badly eroded with steep escarpments, and that there is an escarpment with a drop-off
of about 4 feet directly in front of Ramp 44. Escarpments also prevent
travel, especially at high tide, between Ramps 43 and 44 and between 44
and Cape Point in the area of the Narrows.
Areas of the beach are posted with signs that warn:
"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 conditions."
Darling also said that access to still closed to Salt Pond Road because
of flooding and the Inside Road between Ramps 44 and 45 is closed
because of construction.