Reprinted from Island Free Press
OUTER BANKS — The North Carolina Department of Transportation said N.C. Highway 12 was expected to reopen late Tuesday following a weekend storm and after high tides Monday night and Tuesday morning, which were expected to bring more ocean overwash.
NCDOT crews continued to work on reopening N.C. 12 north of Rodanthe on Monday, but were dealing with miles of accumulated saltwater and sand and a steady barrage of water pouring in.
N.C. 12 remained closed Monday between the Bonner Bridge and Rodanthe, as well as on Ocracoke Island between the Pony Pens and the Hatteras-Ocracoke ferry terminal.
The coastal flood warning for the Outer Banks remained in effect Monday as oceanside flooding continued to bombard a number of vulnerable areas throughout the islands. By the morning’s roughly 10 a.m. high tide, ocean waves and water poured into already inundated areas of north Buxton, south Avon, Rodanthe and Pea Island, causing dangerous travel conditions.
On Ocean View Drive in Avon, gas tanks that were floating in local yards and side streets on Sunday were joined with outdoor air conditioner units, and a deep layer of sand and saltwater covered the road. The Cape Hatteras Electric Cooperative cut off power to a number of homes in the area as a safety measure, per a request from the Avon Fire Department. The Food Lion in Avon was open on Monday, but many adjacent businesses that were blocked by a flooded N.C. 12 were not.
“It seems like it’s worse today than yesterday,” said one Avon resident examining the area, “but it’s hard to tell if the [surf is] actually bigger, or if it’s just adding to the water that’s already there.”
The National Weather Service Newport/Morehead City Office reported that the ocean overwash conditions would repeat again with Monday’s high tide at roughly 10 p.m. Very large waves as high as 10-17 feet continue across the coastal waters, with the highest waves reported north of Cape Hatteras.
The strong winds were forecast taper off by early Tuesday morning.
Dare County Schools on Hatteras Island were closed Monday. On Ocracoke Island, the Cedar Island and Swan Quarter routes were running, but the Ocracoke / Hatteras route was closed due to the road closures on both Hatteras and Ocracoke Islands.
This story is provided courtesy of the Island Free Press, a digital newspaper covering Hatteras and Ocracoke islands. Coastal Review Online is partnering with the Free Press to provide readers with more environmental and lifestyle stories of interest along our coast.