Conditions on NC 12 in Pea Island continue to prohibit travel; NCDOT aims for Thursday opening

Published 10:44 pm Wednesday, September 23, 2020

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At 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon, five big yellow NCDOT sand moving vehicles were furiously working to push sand to help hold back the tide at the Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center.

At that same time, NCDOT announced reopening NC 12 was delayed to noontime Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020.

At the S-curves, barely visible fog and center lines direct vehicles. NCDOT crews were at work with four pieces of equipment.

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At the Visitor Center in Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge, five operators of NCDOT equipment furiously try to stop the tide around 4:30 p.m. Wednesday afternoon. Mary Helen Goodloe-Murphy photo

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Once at the northern entrance to the new Rodanthe bridge, NC 12 is mostly clear and dry. Some overwash water pushes onto the pavement, particularly around the New Inlet walkover.

Seawater did cross under the Richard Etheridge Bridge, but the road is clear until just before the Pea Island Visitor Center.

On Wednesday afternoon, driving the 5-ton truck was Tim Fitch, with Fire Chief Mike Daughtery riding along side. At the request of Dare Emergency Medical Services, the pair was checking the road condition to see if Dare County ambulances could make medical runs.

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Chicamacomico Banks Volunteer Fire and Rescue 5-ton military transport vehicle has served as an emergency ambulance during the NC 12 closure in Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge. Tim Fitch, shown with a handful of seaweed, helped Fire Chief Mike Daugherty wash sand off the truck Wednesday afternoon, Sept. 23. Volunteers Daughtery, Fitch, Ben Abe, Craig Detsch, Chris Cowan and Clyde Thompson have driven or ridden in the powerful truck during five or six emergency medical runs, three trips for the Dare County Sheriff, one humanitarian pickup and shuttles for Emergency Medical Personnel as of Wednesday afternoon. The truck was purchased this spring for $30,000. It has three axles and is six-wheel drive. Deep spots along NC 12 had three and half feet of water were easily handled by the big truck. Mary Helen Goodloe-Murphy photo


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NC 12 overwash at the S-turns and northern Rodanthe starts on Sunday morning, Sept. 20. NC 12 was closed for the first time a few moments after the photograph was made. The road reopened at 5 p.m. It took 50 minutes for the northbound vehicle line to clear. Sunday night, the road was closed. As of Wednesday afternoon, Sept. 23, it is scheduled to reopen at Noon on Thursday. Mary Helen Goodloe-Murphy photo