Cape Hatteras National Park Service officials have reopened almost all visitor facilities and off-road vehicle ramps in the aftermath of a coastal storm that flooded beaches and other areas of the park and eroded dunes.
The exception is in the Buxton-Frisco area, where Ramps 43, 44, and 49 and the Cape Point Campground remain closed. The Pole Road at Hatteras Inlet also remains closed.
The Park Service said in a news release today that all ocean and soundside beaches have been evaluated for safe access for pedestrians and vehicles.
“Daily evaluations of these areas are conducted, repairs made and removal of storm debris are accomplished as soon as possible,” the NPS said. “Flooded areas continue to drain and recede with current weather conditions.”
The Ramp 43-44-Cape Point campground often are under water after heavy rains or tidal flooding, and the area can take a while to drain. Also deep stormwater — too deep for driving — remains in Ramp 49 and the Pole Road.
All seashore visitor centers, information areas, and off-road vehicle permit offices are open.
Oregon Inlet, Frisco, and Ocracoke campgrounds have reopened.
The Bodie Island Lighthouse is open for climbing, but the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse is closed for the season.
The following is a summary of the status of park beach access areas/ramps:
Bodie Island Oregon Inlet Area:
Ramp 1 and 2 are open to pedestrian access.
*Ramp 4 remains closed to ORV access (lingering flooded conditions) but is open to pedestrian access.
Ramp 23 is open to pedestrians and reopens to ORVs on Nov. 1.
Ramp 25 is open to ORV and pedestrian access.
Ramp 27 is open to ORV and pedestrian access.
Ramp 30 is open to ORV and pedestrian access.
Ramp 32 is open to ORV and pedestrian access.
Ramp 34 is open to pedestrians and reopens to ORVs on Nov. 1.
Ramp 38 is open to ORV and pedestrian access.
Cape Point-Buxton- Hatteras Area:
*Ramp 43 remains closed to ORV access but open to pedestrian access.
*Ramp 44 remains closed to ORV access but open to pedestrian access.
*Ramp 49 remains closed to ORV access but open to pedestrian access.
Ramp 55 is open to ORV and pedestrian access allowing for oceanside access but the Pole Road remains closed due to flooded conditions.
*Ramp 59 remains closed to ORV access but is open to pedestrian access.
Ramp 67 is open to ORV and pedestrian access.
Ramp 68 is open to pedestrians and reopens to ORVs on Nov. 1.
Ramp 70 is open to ORV and pedestrian access.
*Ramp 72 remains closed but ORV access to South Point/Ocracoke Inlet is available via Ramp 70.
Tidal levels remain high in the area, the Park Service warns, and beach drivers should use extreme caution and be aware of changing beach conditions, tides and surf conditions in the surrounding areas.
The Park Service also reminds drivers that ORV routes with no turtle nests remaining are open for night driving after Sept. 16. On-site signage of ORV routes and any closures will be clearly marked in the field with wooden or carsonite posts. A permit is required for any off-road vehicle use in Cape Hatteras National Seashore.
Randy Swilling, the seashore’s natural resource program manager, said today that no turtle nests remain on Bodie or Ocracoke islands. The Hatteras Island biotechnician has not been able to reach all of the remaining nests, but the ones that he has checked are either no longer viable or were washed away. The seashore, he said, will have a complete report on Tuesday.