Storm brings transportation woes

Published 6:46 am Wednesday, May 11, 2022

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Around 4 a.m. on Tuesday, May 10, 2022, NC 12 was officially closed from the Marc Basnight Bridge to Rodanthe. The highway remained closed through Tuesday night.

Tuesday’s ocean overwash hit all of the famed highway’s hotspots.

The overwash and two collapsed houses were powered by a strong low pressure system parked off the North Carolina coast. That system sent powerful surf and long-shore current along Hatteras Island, north of Cape Point.

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In Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge, strong, angry surf completely wiped out the dune line opposite the refuge Visitor Center, which was hit by ocean water.

To protect NC 12, NCDOT crews are pulling sand from the west side of the road to establish a berm. A “bleeder has been opened to drain water off the roadway. The salt water is deep.”

At 2 p.m. Tuesday, the afternoon high tide was already sending saltwater onto NC 12.

Ocean overwash came at other hot spots. In north Rodanthe, ocean water from dune breaches on East Point Drive and America Drive flooded residential lots. Salt water streamed down NC 12 carrying rolled up sand fencing.

In north Buxton, overwash ran across NC 12. Ocean water also streamed down roads off Old Lighthouse Road.

Between Hatteras and Frisco, ocean water trickled over the dune.

Soundside tide has flooded yards in Frisco. In Hatteras, flood waters hit Eagle Pass Road and along NC 12 to Sonny’s Restaurant.

On Tuesday, all ferries to and from Ocracoke were suspended.