as many islanders on southern Hatteras, especially in Hatteras village,
continued to clean up from last weekend's devastating storm surge from
Hurricane Matthew, the National Weather Service issued a coastal flood
advisory for Hatteras and Ocracoke through next Monday, Oct. 17.
Also today, the Dare County Emergency Management's Joint Information
Center issued a news release to say that visitors will be allowed back
into some of Hatteras Island's villages, beginning at 7 a.m. on
Thursday, Oct. 13.
COASTAL FLOOD ADVISORY
The National Weather Service in Newport/Morehead City issued the
coastal flood advisory this afternoon for the coastal waters and
counties adjacent to the Pamlico Sound into early next week. This
includes Hatteras and Ocracoke islands.
The Weather Service says that gauges adjacent to Pamlico Sound continue
to indicate water levels 1 to 2 feet above normal because of
floodwaters from Matthew's record rainfall that is moving down rivers
and their tributaries and draining into the sound.
Coastal flooding will continue through early next week because of these
floodwaters and because of increasing astronomical tides, which will
peak early next week.
The Weather Service also says minor to moderate coastal flooding on the
oceanside of the islands will likely develop by this weekend, also
because of the astronomical high tides. There is a full moon on Sunday,
The oceanside flooding will be caused by large swells, persistent northeast and north winds and astronomical high tides.
Most Hatteras islanders have noticed that even after Matthew's storm
surge receded late Sunday, Oct. 9, that the water levels on the
soundside would rise in the afternoon about the time of high
tide. Part of the increased water levels Monday were because of
north winds that were still blowing 15 to 20 mph.
The Weather Service says that Hatteras and Ocracoke residents can
expect water levels to remain about 1 to 2 feet above ground level
until the weekend, when they will increase to 2 to 3 feet above ground
level because of the astronomical high tide.
There is also a high threat of rip currents and dangerous shorebreak
with waves of 5 to 7 feet on the island's beaches, at least through
With various tropical systems hanging around offshore during September
and early October, the rip current threat has been high along the Outer
Banks more days than not.
Rip currents are most likely around low tide, which is around 11:30 a.m. on Thursday.
Rip currents are powerful, usually narrow channeled currents of water,
flowing away from shore. They typically extend from the shoreline,
through the surf zone, and past the line of breaking waves. Rip
currents can occur at any beach with breaking waves.
Swimmers are advised to use extreme caution and to never try to swim
directly back into shore against a rip current because you will become
quickly exhausted. If you become caught in a rip current, you
should yell for help and remain calm. Do not exhaust yourself and
try to stay afloat while waiting for help. If you have to swim
out of a rip current, swim parallel to shore and then back to the beach
Beach-goers should use extreme caution if swimming in the ocean.
There have been six drownings this year -- two this month -- in the
Cape Hatteras National Seashore, all associated with rip currents. And
the National Park Service and local rescue squads report there have
been many rescues and close calls.
For local weather information, go to http://www.weather.gov/mhx/.
You can find the beach forecast, including the rip current forecast on
the Island Free Press home page -- at the top right. Click on the
icon with the beach umbrella.
VISITOR ACCESS TO HATTERAS ISLAND
Dare County's Emergency Management Control Group decided this morning
to allow visitors back to the villages of Rodanthe, Waves, Salvo, Avon,
and most of Buxton, beginning at 7 a.m. on Thursday morning, Oct. 13.
Restrictions against visitor entry will remain in place for areas south
of the intersection of Highway 12 and Buxton Back Road, just north of
Cape Hatteras Secondary School. That means that the villages of Frisco
and Hatteras will still be closed to visitors.
The Dare County Sheriff's Office will staff a road block on Highway 12 at the Back Road.
Lt. Jeff Derringer of the Sheriff's Office said that visitors who are
already in Frisco and Hatteras will need a letter from their rental
management company affirming that they are renting property in those
villages in order to travel back and forth through the road block.
Local officials will meet again on Thursday morning to review recovery
efforts in Frisco and Hatteras and to determine if a time frame can be
established for visitor entry into those villages.
Ocracoke Island is also closed to visitors, although the ferries are running again for residents and essential personnel.