small survey crew from the US National Weather Service (NWS)
Newport/Morehead City office paid a visit to the Outer Banks on
Saturday to collect high water marks from Tropical Storm Michael.
found that water levels were 2 to 4 feet above ground level on the
soundside of north Avon, and the hardest hit areas on the Outer Banks
included Manteo, Kitty Hawk, and Kill Devil Hills. In Manteo, flooding
of 3.1 feet above ground was recorded, which was just 1.45 feet shy of
Hurricane Irene’s 4.1 feet of flooding in 2011.
N.C. Highway 12 was arguably the most impacted by soundside flooding in
the tri-villages area of Rodanthe, Waves and Salvo, the northern region
of Hatteras Island saw roughly 2-3 feet of above ground soundside
flooding at the Pea Island Art Gallery in Salvo, and roughly 2 feet of
above ground soundside flooding in the soundside region of the Camp
Hatteras RV Resort & Campground in Rodanthe.
“above ground” referenced in the survey alludes to water that rises
above land in areas that would normally be dry. “For example, when
we’re talking about the campground in Rodanthe, the ground that would
normally be dry would have two feet of water above that,” said Morgan
Simms of the NWS Newport/Morehead City office.
The NWS did note that these levels were likely higher in exposed areas, due to wave action on top of the surge.
wind gusts of 66 mph were recorded on Ocracoke Island during Michael at
7:12 p.m. on October 11, while wind gusts of 64 mph were recorded in
Frisco Woods at 9:45 p.m. on October 11. The Diamond Shoals Buoy
recorded wind gusts of 65 mph on October 11 at 8:10 p.m., while
Rodanthe recorded peak wind gusts of 56 mph later in the evening at
comparison, storm surge ranged from 2.5 to 7 feet along the North
Carolina coast during 2011’s Hurricane Irene, with the highest storm
surge (7.1 feet) measured at the NOS gage at the Oregon Inlet Marina.
During Hurricane Matthew in 2016, the highest storm surge levels along
the entire East Coast were recorded at Hatteras Village at 5.8 feet.