Winter weather strikes Outer Banks, causes overwash

Published 6:58 am Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Monday morning’s high tide brought Atlantic Ocean water overwash across NC 12 on Hatteras and Ocracoke.

The morning’s high tide around 9 a.m. sent salty water across NC 12 at the Pea Island refuge’s visitor center, S-curves and other spots. In north Rodanthe, the water ran to the street from the northernmost house and down Sea Gull Street and several side streets.

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Overwash on NC12 on Pea Island. NCDOT photo

Repeatedly, drivers who had traversed Pea Island send the message “stay home.” Windblown sand mixed with sea foam obscured travel lane lines on NC 12.

At mid-morning Monday, the Ocracoke-Hatteras ferries shut down. NCDOT closed NC 12 north of the Pony Pens around 10:30 a.m. due to dune breach and ocean overwash. NCDOT reports no known damage to infrastructure and the crew on Ocracoke was working to clear sand from roadway. Also, on Ocracoke, Hatteras Inlet water was pushing across the stack lanes to catch the ferry toward Hatteras.

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NCDOT crews work to clear sand and ocean water off NC12 in the Mirlo Beach area. NCDOT photo

In Nags Head, the town had some “minor” overwash flooding and some cable lines down. The town said more overwash could affect South Nags Head on Monday’s high tide around 9:30 p.m.

In Kitty Hawk, NCDOT workers cleared blown sand from the roadway, which was open and passable.

Around 11 p.m. Sunday evening, Cape Hatteras Electric Cooperative staffers were called to restore power to the dock circuit in Hatteras village. The power was restored around 4 a.m. The dock circuit runs along the docks on Hatteras Harbor. A few residential units are hooked up but very few permanent residents were affected by the outage.

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Around high tide Monday morning, Atlantic Ocean water spilled down NC 12 in north Rodanthe.

At noon on Monday, the cooperative crews were out fixing two outages in Frisco and three in Rodanthe.

At Cape Hatteras Secondary School, the middle school basketball games scheduled for Monday, Dec. 10 were canceled. Cape Hatteras was scheduled to play Ocracoke in Buxton. Dare Schools opened three hours late on Monday.

The National Weather Service reports that as of 10 a.m. Monday, rainfall totals were 4.1 inches in Frisco, 2.3 in Trent Woods and 2.04 in Columbia.

Peak wind gusts measured 70 miles per hour in Ocracoke; 67 in Pamlico Sound, 63 in Duck and 61 miles per hour at Oregon Inlet, in Avon, Hatteras and Jennette’s Pier.

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