the majority of Hatteras and Ocracoke islands are finally dry after an
inundation of record-breaking rainfall, Lighthouse Road near Cape Point
and the Cape Point Campground are still struggling with leftover
Cape Point Campground, which temporarily closed on July 25 because of
the heavy rains, remains closed despite a hopeful August 6 reopening
date, and it is not yet known when the campground will be clear enough
to open once again. (All other Cape Hatteras National Seashore
campgrounds in Frisco, Ocracoke, and Oregon Inlet are currently open
addition, the tail end of Lighthouse Road just before the entrance to
ORV ramps 43 and 44 still has standing water, which may make navigation
difficult for low-clearance vehicles. Potholes have also formed in this
section of Lighthouse Road, close to the ramps’ entrances, which may
not be immediately visible.
the water clears, we will address the potholes in this section of
Lighthouse Road,” said Michael Barber, Public Affairs Specialist for
the National Parks of Eastern NC. “But for now, visitors should use
caution, as the potholes are difficult to see.”
the road to the South Beach Pedestrian Beach Access that cuts through
the Cape Point Campground is also closed, but CHNS reports that rangers
are checking the area every day to see if access can be reestablished.
Inside Road in between ramps 44 and 49, though open, also has standing
water on the southern end near Frisco, and ORVs are advised to travel
along the beach in between ramps 48 and 49 instead.
in the region close to Cape Point is unfortunately nothing new, and the
surrounding wetlands combined with the low-lying nature of the area and
a lack of a drainage system has caused high waters to linger in this
corner of Buxton before. In 2016, record rainfall from the otherwise
forgettable tropical cyclone Bonnie closed the campground for several
weeks, due to 7-8 inches of standing water that lingered well after
Bonnie had left the area
recent wave of wet weather has caused a much larger influx of rain than
the 2016 campground closing, with July 2018 easily having the most
monthly rainfall in the past 50 years. As a comparison, the National
Weather Service recorded a total of 20.31 inches of rain at Cape
Hatteras for July 2018, while the monthly average of rainfall for July
is around 4.99 inches.
while the rest of the island is relatively clear, with only mosquitos
and nearly-full roadside ditches left behind, the Cape Point Campground
is still a reminder of the more than 10 days of consecutive rainfall.
you get this much rainfall, there are very few systems that can handle
this amount of water,” said David Hallac, Cape Hatteras National
Seashore Superintendent, “and this area shows what [20+] inches of rain
silver lining is that recent elevation projects for ramp 44 and ramp 49
have been successful, and these two routes for off-road vehicles remain
high and dry, and readily accessible. “It’s good to see that the
improvements we have made at these ramps has resulted in easier
transportation on and off the beach,” said Hallac.
Cape Point Campground and Lighthouse Road next to ramps 43 and 44 will
continue to be monitored, and will be repaired as needed once the water
now, visitors to the area should continue to use caution, and to be on
the lookout for the lingering remnants of July’s overabundance of water.