By IRENE NOLAN
By IRENE NOLAN
The National Weather Service in Newport, N.C., late this afternoon extended the coastal flood advisory for the Outer Banks north of Cape Hatteras until 1 a.m. Sunday.
Moderate to strong northeast winds will continue into the weekend and will combine with above normal astronomical tides to push water levels 2 to 3 feet above normal along east-facing beaches.
There is a possibility of minor ocean overwash along Highway 12 in flood-prone areas, especially at the time of high tide, which is in the early morning and again in the early evening for the next few days.
“Of most concern is the period Friday into the weekend,” the Weather Service said, “when the weather models are suggesting that developing low pressure off of the southeast coast will move north near the North Carolina coast. There is still considerable uncertainty regarding the eventual track, and intensity of this system.”
The N.C. Department of Transportation reported on its NC 12 Facebook Page this afternoon that Highway 12 is open on Hatteras and Ocracoke, though there is some sand on the roadway on Pea Island.
There has been some overwash in north Buxton, but there was no water or sand on the highway this afternoon.
Drivers on the beaches of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore should also exercise caution. The ocean is being pushed up to the dunes at high tide, even on some south-facing beaches.
Driving can be hazardous, and drivers should be aware of the times of high and low tide and remember that they may be able to drive out onto a beach at low tide but find the ORV route flooded at high tide.
The high surf advisory has also been extended until 1 a.m. Sunday, and the Weather Service warns that the threat of large breaking waves and rip currents will make the ocean dangerous for swimmers.
Widespread showers with periods of heavy rain and localized flooding are also in the forecast through the weekend.
The gusty winds and rain will affect ferry schedules. For the latest updates on ferry routes, check out the NCDOT Ferry Division Twitter feed at www.twitter.com/ncdot_ferry
If there are any closures or serious issues along Highway 12 or other local roads while the system is along the coast, NCDOT says they will be posted on the Traveler Information page for Dare County at http://tims.ncdot.gov/tims/RegionSummary.aspx?co=28.
For the latest updates and advisories, go the local Weather Service website at www. www.weather.gov/mhx.