After a prolonged period of freezing that followed the
winter storm on Thursday, January 4, islanders were anxiously awaiting the
forecasted warmer temperatures on Monday, and hopefully a big accompanying
Dare County Schools remained closed on Monday, and the North
Carolina Ferry System reported a cease in operations in several routes over the
weekend, including the Hatteras-Ocracoke route, due to freezing waters. Dare
County Offices and most facilities, however, will return to normal operating
hours beginning on Monday, January 8 at 8:30 a.m. Garbage service for Hatteras
Island customers will also resume a regular schedule starting on Monday.
The winter storm and subsequent freeze broke several records
in the Outer Banks area. The record low temperature of 19 degrees was tied at
Cape Hatteras on Saturday, and Hatteras Island reported hurricane wind-force
gusts during Thursday’s storm, which includes a 77 mph recorded gust in the
Many locals attested that they had never seen the Pamlico Sound
waters frozen for so far, or for so long, with ice extending as far as the eye
could see. An aerial survey reported that the sound was frozen for up to .75
miles in some areas, and islanders brave enough to venture out into the cold
could be spotted “walking on water” throughout the islands.
The thaw may be initially slow, but warmer air temperatures
are finally heading to the islands starting on Monday, with temperatures in the
mid to high 40s throughout the day and night.
The warmer temperatures will continue to climb in the next
few days, and will reach the 60s by the end of the week.
Roads on Hatteras Island were traversable on Monday morning,
although travelers should note that there is still ice in spots, including area
bridges and the northern Outer Banks region. With many secondary roads still
covered in snow and ice, icy conditions will persist throughout Monday,
particularly on the northern beaches and the mainland.
For more information on the warmer upcoming weather, visit www.weather.gov/mhx for weather forecast
information, or the National Weather Service office in Newport / Morehead
City’s Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/NWSMoreheadCity/
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