10:45 A.M. UPDATE: N.C. Highway 12 on Hatteras and Ocracoke islands will open to traffic at noon, per a Thursday morning update from the N.C. Department of Transportation (NCDOT).
With limited ocean overwash from the overnight high tide cycle, the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) announced that a Thursday reopening of N.C. Highway 12 was “likely” in an 8:30 a.m. update.
“Good news this morning… for the first time in many days, we did not see any significant overwash from the overnight high tide cycle,” stated the update. “That means our progress from yesterday remains intact, and a reopening of Highway 12 in both locations (Rodanthe and Ocracoke) is likely sometime today.”
N.C. Highway 12 has been closed since Sunday night in two locations: between Oregon Inlet and Rodanthe on Hatteras Island, and between the Pony Pens and Ferry Terminal on northern Ocracoke Island.
NCDOT crews have been continually working to clear N.C. 12 since the roadway was first impacted by ocean overwash on Saturday morning, and Wednesday’s early afternoon high tide brought additional ocean overwash and delayed progress.
Standing saltwater and sand still remain on the roadway in a number of locations along N.C. Highway 12, including northern Hatteras village, Buxton, Avon, Rodanthe, Pea Island, and northern Ocracoke Island. Travelers are advised to use caution and to go slowly, as saltwater can heavily damage vehicles.
A Coastal Flood Advisory is still in effect until 5:00 p.m. on Thursday. Large breaking waves of 6 to 12 feet in the surf zone will lead to an elevated risk of rip currents for the next several days, and beachgoers should continue to stay out of the water.
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/.