N.C. Highway 12 on northern Ocracoke Island will be closed until Thursday, January 11, due to significant ocean overwash in the area, as well as the potential for more overwash with Wednesday’s evening high tide at approximately 6:30 p.m.
Ferry operations for the Hatteras-Ocracoke ferry have also been suspended until the highway reopens.
Wednesday afternoon departures for the Ocracoke-Cedar Island and Ocracoke-Swan Quarter routes have been canceled, but all Ocracoke-mainland ferries will resume normal operations on Thursday morning.
“Due to continued ocean overwash, NC12 on the north end of Ocracoke Island between the NPS Pony Pens and the ferry terminal will REMAIN CLOSED today,” stated the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) in a Wednesday afternoon update. “We will make every effort to reopen the road and resume ferry service during the day tomorrow.”
Soundside flooding was reported in multiple locations on Hatteras Island on Wednesday morning, with water level rises of approximately three feet recorded in Avon and the Tri-villages, according to the Flood Inundation Mapping and Alert Network.
Some standing saltwater remains on the roadways, particularly in the Tri-Villages and the secondary roads of Avon Village.
N.C. Highway 12 is open throughout Hatteras Island, but in addition to the remnants of Wednesday morning’s soundside flooding, there is a layer of blown sand on the roadway and several areas of standing rainwater, especially on Pea Island. Drivers are advised to use caution if travel is required, as saltwater can heavily damage vehicles.
A Coastal Flood Advisory is in effect until 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, while a High Surf Advisory is in effect until midnight.
Per the Advisories, 1-2 feet of lingering inundation above ground level is possible in low-lying areas near shorelines and tidal waterways, and large breaking waves of 4 to 9 feet in the surf zone are forecast through Wednesday night. Additional ocean overwash is also possible with Wednesday evening’s high tide.
- To get notified of ferry delays or cancellations, sign up for text and/or email alerts via the N.C. Ferry System’s FINS system: www.ncdot.gov/fins. Users will get notified of any schedule changes directly from the terminal, and can unsubscribe at any time.
- For updates regarding road conditions, visit DriveNC.gov and follow the North Carolina Department of Transportation and NCDOT NC 12 on Facebook. The Dare County Sheriff’s Office also shares local road condition updates on its Facebook page.
- For more information on the local weather forecast, visit www.weather.gov/mhx for weather information, or the National Weather Service office in Newport/Morehead City’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/NWSMoreheadCity/.
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