Travelers are advised to avoid N.C. Highway 12 on northern Ocracoke Island for an hour or two surrounding high tide, per updates from the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) and the Cape Hatteras National Seashore (CHNS).
“NC12 on Ocracoke Island is currently being impacted by high tides,” stated the NCDOT in a Monday update. “Given anticipated weather conditions over the next several days, road closures are possible. Please drive with extreme caution.”
“Cape Hatteras National Seashore recommends avoiding the north end of Ocracoke Island from 1-2 hours before high tide through 1-2 hours after high tide, due to high water levels and persistent ocean overwash,” stated CHNS in a similar Monday update.
Ocean overwash has been reported on northern Ocracoke Island during most high tide cycles over the past few days, ever since a coastal storm impacted the Outer Banks area last week.
Although Hatteras-Ocracoke ferry service resumed on Wednesday, February 7, after the strong northerly winds subsided, the protective berm on the northern end of the island was breached, and overwash has been a continual concern due to the narrow barrier island nature of this stretch of the highway.
A period of gale-force southwesterly winds is expected to bring soundside flooding for Hatteras Island and the northern Outer Banks starting Monday night, per an update from the National Weather Service Newport/Morehead City office.
While Ocracoke Island may only receive minor soundside flooding, wind gusts of 45-50 mph are likely along the coast, and widespread 2-3″ of rainfall is expected, which could exacerbate current flooding issues on the roadway.
- For more information on the local weather 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/.
- To get notified of ferry delays or cancellations, sign up for text and/or email alerts via the N.C. Ferry System’s FINS system: www.ncdot.gov/fins. Users will get notified of any schedule changes directly from the terminal, and can unsubscribe at any time.
- For updates regarding road conditions, visit DriveNC.gov and follow the North Carolina Department of Transportation and NCDOT NC 12 on Facebook. The Dare County Sheriff’s Office also shares local road condition updates on its Facebook page.
The next high tides on Ocracoke Island are approximately 9:40 p.m. on Monday and 9:55 a.m. on Tuesday.