Minor to moderate flooding and standing water were reported on multiple sections of N.C. Highway 12 with Friday morning’s heavy rains and approximate 11:00 a.m. high tide, although the highway remained open and passable as of 11:30 a.m.
“NC12 is open, but conditions are difficult,” stated the NCDOT in a Friday morning update. “If you must go out today, slow down and drive with EXTREME CAUTION.”
Flooding due to ocean overwash was reported in northern Ocracoke, north of Hatteras village, northern Rodanthe, and on Pea Island, south of the Basnight Bridge. NCDOT crews are on site and are clearing the roadway.
A Tropical Storm Warning remains in effect for Hatteras and Ocracoke Islands.
A stalled front off the N.C. coast and strong high pressure to the north will help contribute to the impacts of Hurricane Ian across the Outer Banks, and there will be a prolonged period of wind, rain, and elevated water levels, which is expected to last through Saturday at the earliest.
Per the most recent briefing from the National Weather Service Newport/Morehead City office, potential impacts through the weekend include the following:
- Ocean overwash is possible through multiple high tide cycles, especially in areas that experienced a loss of dunes over the past few weeks. 1-3 feet of inundation is possible in low-lying areas throughout the Outer Banks, from Ocracoke Island to Duck.
- 1-2 feet of soundside flooding is possible for Ocracoke and Hatteras Islands all along the Pamlico Sound, as well as northern Outer Banks areas near the southern Albemarle Sound.
- 4-6″ inches of rain is expected through Sunday, and localized flash flooding is possible. The heaviest rains will occur today through this evening.
- A prolonged period of strong northeast winds is expected through Friday night, with maximum wind gusts of 45-55 mph.
- A few tornadoes are possible into Friday evening across the Outer Banks.
- Dangerous seas with maximum wave heights of 10-15 ft. are likely through Saturday. There will be an accompanying high risk of rip currents, and the public is advised to stay out of the water.
As of Friday morning, the following cancellations and alerts have been announced:
- All Hatteras-Ocracoke ferry operations have been suspended as of Friday at 11:00 a.m.
- Dare County Public Works announced that there will be no residential or commercial trash collection on Hatteras Island on Friday.
- Hyde County Government offices are closed on Friday, September 30.
- College of The Albemarle (COA) is closed on Friday, September 30
- Cape Hatteras National Seashore (CHNS) announced that Bodie Island Lighthouse climbing is closed Sept. 30-Oct. 1. Regular climbing opportunities at the Bodie Island Lighthouse will be available from Wednesday, Oct. 5 through the end of the climbing season Saturday, Oct. 8.
- In addition, CHNS advises that visitors should avoid a two-mile stretch of beach between the north end of Rodanthe and South Shore Drive, due to the presence of several vulnerable houses that may be damaged by rough surf and strong winds. The area should be avoided through this weekend.
- CHNS campgrounds and ORV ramps remain open, however, many off-road vehicle routes may become impassable. Visit https://go.nps.gov/beachaccess for beach access updates.
Dare County Emergency Management offers the following tips and resources:
- For up-to-date information regarding road conditions on N.C. Highway 12, follow the North Carolina Department of Transportation on Facebook at www.facebook/ncdotnc12, on Twitter @NCDOTNC12 or visit drivenc.gov.
- To sign up for emergency alerts from Dare County Emergency Management, visit www.OBXAlerts.com
- View the latest watches, warnings and advisories from the National Weather Service at www.weather.gov/mhx or https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/.
- Keep your cell phone charged and have Government Alerts enabled to ensure you receive National Weather Service-issued alerts for life-threatening weather conditions.