May 10, 2016

Ocean overwash still a problem for ORVs heading to Cape Point

By IRENE NOLAN



The National Park Service said on Monday, May 9, that Cape Point is still open to vehicles through a special corridor but access is currently difficult at high tide because of by ocean overwash. 

"Currently, we are experiencing larger than normal high tides and likely will for the next few days," Hatteras Island District Ranger Joe Darling said in an email last Friday morning, May 6.  "These conditions will likely make access to Cape Point impassable except during low tide conditions."

Darling said that Friday morning's ocean overwash -- at the high tide around 8 a.m. -- occurred throughout the vehicle corridor and at the end of Cape Point.  The beach continues to be serious eroded between Ramps 43 and 44 and Cape Point.

On Monday, park officials reported that vehicles crossing through the corridor at high tide were still getting their tires wet, and that, because of the high water, there is only a "small patch of land" at the Point  that can hold a handful of vehicles, which could be trapped until the next low tide.

"We encourage everyone to use caution and monitor tide conditions closely, " Darling said last week.

The Point is closed to pedestrians, who are not allowed to walk through the corridor, which was established to guide vehicles through an area where two American oystercatchers are nesting while keeping the birds safe.  The area will be closed to vehicles when and if the eggs in the nest hatch, which would be later this month.

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