Rain, wind from Idalia moving through Outer Banks; NC 12 passable, but drivers advised to avoid travel ‘unless absolutely necessary’

Published 10:04 am Thursday, August 31, 2023

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As impacts from Tropical Storm Idalia move across the Outer Banks area, the North Carolina Department of Transportation is advising travelers to avoid unnecessary travel along NC 12 on Hatteras Island.

NCDOT stated in a Thursday morning Facebook post that “today is NOT a day to be driving on NC12 unless absolutely necessary. But if you are out on the highway, be aware that our crews are out there clearing the road and working to shore up the protective dune. Please slow down and give them room to work!”

An earlier post from the agency stated: “Yes, NC 12 is open and passable. BUT this is NOT a day to be out on the roads. Standing rainwater, blowing sand and strong winds can be expected anywhere you go today. High tide is coming up in another 90 minutes or so. If you must drive today, do it with EXTREME CAUTION.”

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A press release from the Dare County Sheriff’s Office just before 6 a.m. noted several areas of caution:

“Oregon Inlet: There is approximately 2 inches of rain water across both lanes of NC 12 just north of the Oregon Inlet Campground.

“Pea Island: From Pea Island to the Marc Basnight Bridge, NC 12 is clear, but there is limited visibility due to blowing sand.

“Buxton: Both directions of NC 12 are covered in sand, the first half mile north of Buxton.

“Hatteras: Most of Hatteras Village has accumulated rain water on NC 12. There is approximately 8 inches of water on the road in the area of Village Marina and 5 to 10 inches of water in the area of Sandy Bay.”

Another DCSO post at 8 a.m. stated “Wind and rain have arrived. As of this moment road impacts have been standing water and blown sand. All are passable but caution should be exercised especially on Hatteras as high tide approaches in about an hour. 4 hour rainfalls from the NWS are posted below. More rain and wind to come throughout the day as Idalia tracks into the Atlantic to our south.

“Dare County…

Frisco (HSE ASOS) 2.91 in 0532 AM 08/31 ASOS

Buxton 0.7 SE 2.50 in 0530 AM 08/31 CWOP

Frisco 0.3 SW 2.19 in 0530 AM 08/31 CWOP

Dare Bombing Range 2.00 in 0454 AM 08/31 RAWS

Dare Bomb Range RAWS 1.67 in 0448 AM 08/31 RAWS

Southern Shores 1.7 NNW 1.63 in 0538 AM 08/31 CWOP

Nags Head 1.3 NW 1.51 in 0540 AM 08/31 AWS

Nags Head 1.26 in 0533 AM 08/31 CWOP

Manteo (MQI AWOS) 1.14 in 0525 AM 08/31 AWOS

Rodanthe 0.6 N 0.49 in 0115 AM 08/31 CWOP”