Motorists in eastern North Carolina this weekend may encounter hazardous travel conditions caused by the powerful storm expected to hit the area Friday night.
North Carolina Department of Transportation officials on Thursday warned that the storm could affect travel on N.C. 12 on the Outer Banks and cause roads to flood in some coastal areas throughout the weekend.
Drivers should avoid traveling through standing or rushing water and should not drive around barricades or road-closed signs. Most flood-related drownings occur when someone drives through standing or rushing water.
The storm is forecast to strike the Outer Banks and eastern North Carolina Friday night through Sunday night. The storm is forecast to bring 30-50 mph sustained winds, high surf and 2-3 inches of rain to the Outer Banks and other areas of coastal North Carolina, including Morehead City.
Officials expect significant overwash on the Outer Bank’s N.C. 12 on Pea Island and Kitty Hawk. Depending on the storm surge and overwash, portions of N.C. 12 could be closed for extended periods during high tide cycles over the next few days. Officials are also expecting significant storm surge along the sounds in Carteret County, Pamlico County and around Cedar Island.
Transportation crews have been staging motor graders and other equipment on Pea Island in advance of the storm and will have crews ready to respond to assess road conditions and clear sand-covered roads when conditions permit. Forecasters expect the system to move offshore Sunday into Monday morning.