Coastal low leaves sand, overwash on NC 12

Published 7:52 am Thursday, April 2, 2020

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On April 1, a coastal low brushed Hatteras Island and sent northeast winds to blow sand around in Pea Island National Wildlife refuge.

In the early morning, a Coastal Beverage 18-wheeler exited the Marc Basnight Bridge over Oregon Inlet and driver Clarence Rogerson encountered wind-blown sand so severe he was forced to stop about a quarter mile from the bridge. Rogerson couldn’t turn around and he couldn’t go forward because of the blinding wind-blown sand.

National Park Service Bodie Island District Ranger Lynne Edwards came over the bridge to see Rogerson and his truck, which was headed for Ocracoke.

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A NCDOT truck arrived and Edwards moved to the front of Rogerson’s truck. The NCDOT driver with headlights on moved to the back. The pair helped Rogerson back the truck into the access road to the fishing area at the south end of the bridge.


Edwards reported that the wind was so bad that every 30 feet Rogerson wiped his mirrors or got out of the cab to see where he was.

Once partially in the access road, Rogerson turned the cab northward and pulled out to cross the bridge.

Rogerson, from Elizabeth City, is a long-time Coastal Beverage employee working the Hatteras-Ocracoke route.

Deep blown sand and some overwash covered NC 12 on this day. NCDOT workers made progress pushing the sand back, but at 2 p.m., NCDOT announced that high tide created a 60- to 80-foot breach in the dune north of Rodanthe. NC 12 was closed for the rest of the day and the night.

National Park Service rangers are staffing the barricade at the north end of the Oregon Inlet Bridge. Dare County Sheriff’s Deputy Sean Elliott staffed the barricade in Rodanthe from early morning to late afternoon, April 1.



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