Locals coined a new term for the storm that brought snow, high winds, and soundside flooding to Hatteras and Ocracoke islands – a Snowicane. Islanders reported seeing iced-over canal and sound waters overflowing into yards and side streets, creating an extra cold soundside flooding event.
The winter storm that arrived late Wednesday afternoon caused soundside flooding in a number of areas in the southern Outer Banks. As of 8 a.m. on Thursday, soundside flooding was reported in Frisco, Hatteras village, and Avon, with high winds still reported throughout most of the Outer Banks.
The snowfall is winding down, although the northern Outer Banks, (north of Oregon Inlet), could still see an additional 1-1.5 inches of snow. On Hatteras and Ocracoke islands, roughly 1-2 inches of snow was reported, however that number was often hard to assess due to the flooding.
Wind gusts of 50-60 mph were also reported overnight throughout the islands. The winds were still strong as of Thursday morning, but had died down slightly to roughly 20-30 mph sustained winds. Winds are forecast to remain relatively high throughout the day.
The cold weather that is projected for the next few days will keep the winter conditions here until at least Sunday, as temperatures are not expected to get above freezing over the weekend. Travelers should watch for ice and hazardous driving conditions throughout the Outer Banks, and portions of Highway 12 in Frisco and Hatteras village had been affected by soundside flooding.
NCDOT reports that crews are out working on the roads as best they can, however, everyone should still minimize travel per Drew Pearson, Director of Dare County Emergency Management.
Cape Hatteras Electric had outages in Frisco, Hatteras, and Ocracoke earlier on Thursday morning, and have restored all but the Hatteras Dock circuit.
Schools were closed on Thursday morning, as well as county offices. Ferries were also suspended until travel conditions allow operations to resume.
For more information, 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/.
The Island Free Press will continue to post updates on the storm as soon as they are available.
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