what should be the last busy weekend of the tourist season, there are
more vehicles headed north off Hatteras Island than there are headed
south to celebrate summer's last hurrah.
And the visitors have already left Ocracoke Island -- ordered to
evacuate yesterday, ahead of the arrival of what is now Tropical Storm
The local National Weather Service office in Newport/Morehead City said
this afternoon that the storm is expected to intensify on Saturday
afternoon as it moves off the North Carolina coast, resulting in
stronger winds over the Outer Banks than had been previously forecast
and an increased threat of storm surge and beach erosion.
Hermine came ashore about 1:30 a.m. Friday morning near St. Marks,
Fla., and has spent today moving northeast, just inland from the coast
through Georgia and South Carolina. This evening, was about 55 miles
north-northeast of Hilton Head, S.C., and forecast to move into North
The National Hurricane Center said that at 5 p.m., Hermine was moving
northeast near 20 miles an hour with a reduction in forward speed
expected on Saturday. On the forecast track, the NHC said, the
center of Hermine will move across coastal South Carolina this evening,
move over coastal North Carolina tonight, and move offshore of the
North Carolina coast on Saturday.
Maximum sustained winds at 5 p.m. were 50 mph with higher gusts.
Little change in strength is expect through Saturday morning, though
strengthening is forecast once the center of Hermine moves offshore on
The storm, as it increases in strength, is also expected to slow down
and stall off the Delmarva/New Jersey coast. As a result, the oceanside
of the Outer Banks could experience battering large waves and
elevated water levels into the middle of next week -- resulting in
significant erosion issues on the northern beaches.
The tropical storm warning remains in effect for all of coastal North
Carolina. Gov. Pat McCrory has issued a State of Emergency Declaration
for 35 eastern counties to facilitate the movement of any resources
that may be needed to respond to and recover from the storm.
The rain got started in earnest early Friday morning and by afternoon,
getting heavier as the day went on. The storm total for the day by 7
p.m. in Frisco was 1.56 inches. The wind was sustained from the
northeast 15 to 20 mph.
Both the rain and the wind will be picking up as we head into tonight
and could approach tropical storm strength by midnight.
The local Weather Service office is still forecasting heavy rainfall of
5 to 8 inches with local amounts in excess of 10 inches, and a flash
flood watch remains in effect until Saturday evening.
There is also a threat of an isolated tornado, and the National Weather
Service has issued a tornado watch that is in effect until midnight.
Winds across the area tonight will be 30 to 45 mph sustained with gusts
to 50 or 55. However, as the storm moves off the Outer Banks
Saturday afternoon, the winds will increase to 45 to 55 mph sustained
with gusts to 60. Winds are forecast to slowly decrease after
midnight and drop below tropical storm force on Sunday morning.
Minor to moderate storm surge flooding of up to 2 to 3 feet above
ground will be possible on the soundside of Hatteras Island and on the
oceanside of the island north of Cape Hatteras. Seas will peak
around 15 to 20 feet, and oceanside surge is more likely around high
tide, which is about 9:30 p.m. on Saturday evening and 10 a.m. on
"Minor track changes," the NWS says, "will significantly affect which areas receive the highest surge."
If Hermine intensifies and stalls off the Delmarva or New Jersey,
blocked by a high pressure to the north of the tropical system, Weather
Service says that the result could be "significant coastal impacts
along the Outer Banks with tropical storm force winds Saturday night,
very large waves impacting the coast producing beach erosion, dangerous
rip currents, large shore break and ocean overwash during the times of
high tide especially Saturday night and Sunday with the potential for
large waves and at least minor beach erosion to continue for several
more high tide cycles into mid-next week."
Hyde County issued a mandatory evacuation for visitors to Ocracoke yesterday evening, keeping ferries busy.
Earlier today, North Carolina Department of Transportation Ferry
Division had eight vessels in Hatteras/Ocracoke working on the
evacuation to the north and four vessels working the Cedar Island, Swan
Quarter/Ocracoke route to the south and east.
Yesterday, the Ferry Division evacuated 406 cars and 1,161 people
through Hatteras, 26 cars and 54 people through Cedar Island and 20
cars 40 people through Swan Quarter for a total of 452 cars and 1,255
There are no evacuations for any area in Dare County, including
Hatteras Island. However, property management companies report
that many guests in houses who were scheduled to check out on Saturday
morning have already left today.
Beth Midgett, a manager at Midgett Realty, says that some guests have
notified the company they plan to arrive as scheduled on Saturday, but,
she added, "We have people who are making the decision to wait until
road conditions improve."
Click here to read the latest National Weather Service briefing on Hurricane Hermine.
stay up to date with the latest weather and traffic conditions in Dare
County, download the free Ready NC App at www.ncready.org.
to receive email updates from Dare County Emergency Management at
www.DareCountyEM.com and follow @DareCountyEM on Twitter.
- View the latest watches, warnings and advisories from the National Weather Service at www.weather.gov/mhx.
N.C. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Department of Transportation crews along the Outer Banks and across
northeastern North Carolina are preparing for Tropical Storm Hermine as
it makes its way into North Carolina and aims for the coast.
the department’s Division One, which includes the Outer Banks and the
northeastern counties, transportation personnel have been prepping
since last weekend. Initially it was for a tropical storm that turned
out to have minimal impact on Tuesday, but the impact from this storm
is expected to be much stronger.
has been staged in various areas since the previous threat so crews can
quickly react to any issues that develop, such as sand overwash on
roads. A front loader and motor grader are in place on Ocracoke Island
and in Buxton, a front loader is set at Kitty Hawk, and several pieces
of equipment are set up in the parking lot south of the Oregon Inlet
bridge on Pea Island. Additional staff was shifted to Ocracoke so that
workers will be in place to begin cleanup along Highway 12 if ferries
should be delayed in restoring service.
workers have been ensuring barricades and appropriate signage are
on hand, and that chainsaws are fueled and ready to use. Crews are also
reviewing safety protocol regarding swift moving water and downed power
lines, and making sure they are wearing proper safety equipment. They
will be on standby through the weekend to go where needed.
and traffic safety devices at construction sites are also being removed
or secured. At the Bonner Bridge project, the contractor has
implemented a severe weather plan that includes relocation of some
marine equipment to protected areas and securing of other equipment.
Department of Transportation location and surveys staff are on standby
to perform a post-storm underwater sonar survey of the existing bridge
to check for any issues caused by Hermine.
heavy rain expected can often bring flash flooding and area residents
are urged to avoid unnecessary travel during the storm. If you must
travel, use extra care and take precautions:
and visitors can to download the ReadyNC app for real-time weather and
traffic information. Road condition updates are also available in the
Travel section of NCDOT.gov or by following NCDOT on Twitter,
where the storm can be followed at #HermineNC.
FERRIES TO AND FROM OCRACOKE
on current forecasts for the arrival of Tropical Storm Hermine, the
N.C. Department of Transportation’s Ferry Division will suspend
operations to and from Ocracoke Island, with the final ferry departing
for Hatteras Island at 5:30 p.m.
last ferry from Ocracoke to Swan Quarter was scheduled for 3:45 p.m.,
and the final Ocracoke-Cedar Island ferry departed at 4 p.m.
County issued a mandatory evacuation order for island visitors on
Thursday afternoon, following a declaration of a State of Emergency by
Governor Pat McCrory.
inbound to Ocracoke Island have also suspended operations, with final
departures from Cedar Island at 4 p.m., Swan Quarter at 4:30 p.m., and
Hatteras at 6:45 p.m. Only residents, homeowners, or vendors with an
Ocracoke re-entry sticker on their vehicles will be allowed on these
All routes will resume operations as soon as it is safe to do so.
For real-time travel information, visit the Traveler Services section of NCDOT.gov or follow NCDOT on Twitter.
NATIONAL PARK SERVICE
of potential impacts from Tropical Storm Hermine, visitor services and
facilities at Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Fort Raleigh National
Historic Site, and Wright Brothers National Memorial, will be
temporarily suspended. Starting on Friday, September 2, 2016, the
following are in effect:
Visitor services and facilities will reopen post-storm after assessments are completed.
will be a high risk of dangerous rip currents and shore break along all
Cape Hatteras National Seashore beaches. Swimming is not advisable
under these conditions. For more information on rip currents safety go
- Noon - All Cape Hatteras National Seashore campgrounds will close until further notice.
- 3 p.m. - Bodie Island and Cape Hatteras Lighthouse climbs at Cape Hatteras National Seashore will stop until further notice.
p.m. - Staff will begin to cable and close ORV access ramps at 3 p.m.,
with all ramps being cabled and closed by 5 p.m. Access to beaches
along Cape Hatteras National Seashore will be limited to pedestrian use
until further notice.
p.m. - All visitor centers and facilities at Cape Hatteras National
Seashore, Fort Raleigh National Historic Site, and Wright Brothers
National Memorial will close until further notice.
CAPE HATTERAS ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE
Hatteras Electric Cooperative stands ready to respond if power outages
result from Tropical Storm Hermine. CHEC crews are preparing equipment
and vehicles in case the storm causes outages on the island.
severe weather causes outages, CHEC crews begin working immediately to
restore service in a safe and efficient manner. Members should make
sure they have CHEC’s outage reporting number, 866-511-9862, available.
CHEC will post updates to chec.coop, Facebook and Twitter if
needed. If necessary, additional information will be broadcasted
on Radio Hatteras, 99.9 and 101.5FM.
is the time to prepare an emergency kit that includes non-perishable
food and bottled water, a flashlight, radio, batteries and any other
items necessary for getting through a power outage. If you encounter a
fallen, sparking or sagging power line, do not touch it. Stay far away,
and report it to CHEC or call 911 immediately.
UPDATE: Tropical storm warning posted for entire N.C. coast
Track of Hermine shifts back toward Outer Banks
Second tropical system in a week forecast for Hatteras, Ocracoke