In a brief 3:15 p.m. update, the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) stated that they are making progress between the Oregon Inlet Bridge and Rodanthe where N.C. Highway 12 still remains closed as of 3:20 p.m.
“We are CAUTIOUSLY OPTIMISTIC that we may be able to open the road briefly before the next high tide. Please be patient,” stated the NCDOT.
The Fair Haven United Methodist Church on Tradewinds Drive in Rodanthe also announced that they to have opened the church as of 3 p.m. on Saturday for any folks who are stuck in traffic trying to leave the island. Visitors are more than welcome to come and stretch their legs or take a nap in a pew, and the nursery classrooms will be open for any visitors with small children who want to come let their kids play while they wait. The Fair Haven UMC will remain open for people to come and go as they please until N.C. Highway 12 reopens. They will also be serving dinner at 6:30 p.m. to anyone in need, and will provide as much housing as possible for anyone who needs a place to spend the night.
Ocean overwash and additional flooding is probable with Saturday night’s high tide as Subtropical Storm Melissa continues to move away from the East Coast. High tide is around 8 p.m. on Saturday night on Hatteras Island.
NCDOT updates on N.C. Highway 12 road conditions can be obtained by calling 511, or by viewing the Mirlo Beach webcam online at https://tims.ncdot.gov/tims/RegionSummary.aspx?co=28.
Additionally, NCDOT is posting regular status reports on their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/NCDOTNC12/.
Saltwater remained on the highway in multiple areas of Hatteras Island as of Saturday afternoon, including northern Hatteras, northern Buxton, Avon, and Rodanthe. Motorists are advised to proceed with caution and to drive slowly to avoid saltwater damage to their vehicle.