The National Weather Service (NWS) in Newport/Morehead City has issued a coastal flood watch through Monday at 1 p.m. and a high surf watch through Sunday evening in anticipation of a powerful storm system that will bring high winds and coastal flooding to the Outer Banks this weekend.
Per a Thursday evening briefing from NWS Newport/Morehead City, there have been no major changes to the expected impacts to the Outer Banks in the past 24 hours, however, significant coastal flooding is now also likely in southern Hatteras Island, south of Cape Point in Buxton.
A strong coastal low is expected to start impacting the Outer Banks on Friday night, with peak impacts expected midday Saturday.
There is the potential for storm surge inundation 2 to 4 feet above ground level, with locally higher amounts possible, for oceanside Outer Banks and areas adjacent to the Southern Pamlico Sound. High surf, beach erosion and ocean overwash are expected for the beaches on Hatteras and Ocracoke islands, and the most significant oceanside impacts are expected north of Cape Hatteras.
Persistent strong north to northeast winds with gusts of 55-65 mph are possible along the coast. Offshore peak wave heights of 15-25 ft. are also forecast with the coastal storm, as well as 3-4 inches of rain for northern Hatteras Island, and 4-6 inches of rain for southern Hatteras Island. Heavy downpours along the coast are expected, and minor rain-related flooding is possible.
According to NCDOT, depending on the storm surge and overwash, portions of N.C. Highway 12 could be closed for extended periods during high tide cycles over the next few days.
Per Dare County Emergency Management, all residents, visitors and property owners, and especially those in oceanfront areas and places prone to soundside flooding, are advised to take precautions now to protect property. Outdoor furnishings, trash cans, and any loose items should be properly secured.
Dare County Emergency Management also advises that visitors should contact accommodations providers for updates on local conditions, monitor the storm, and plan accordingly if travel is necessary.
Motorists should proceed with extreme caution this weekend and check road conditions before traveling, especially during periods of high tide.
For information about current road conditions from the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT), visit drivenc.gov or dial 511. When dialing 511 on weekdays from 8:15 a.m. to 7:45 p.m., weekends from 8:15 a.m. to 4:45 p.m., callers speak directly with an operator who can answer traffic and travel-related questions. Overnight and during emergencies, travelers should go to DriveNC.gov for the latest travel information. For real-time travel information, visit DriveNC.gov or follow NCDOT on social media.
For more information on the local forecast, visit www.weather.gov/mhx for weather information, or the National Weather Service office in Newport / Morehead City’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/NWSMoreheadCity/.