9:30 a.m. Friday Update:
N.C. Highway 12 is open and passable with minor ocean overwash and wind-blown sand in a few locations from Oregon Inlet to Ocracoke Island, per a Friday morning update from the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT). Travelers are advised to drive with extreme caution.
The Hatteras-Ocracoke, Ocracoke-Swanquarter, and Ocracoke-Cedar Island ferry routes have been suspended due to deteriorating weather conditions. Suspended routes will resume service as soon as it is safe to do so, and the public can keep track of schedule alterations on the NCDOT Ferry Division’s Twitter page. For the Hatteras-Ocracoke ferry, call 252-996-6000 or 6001 for additional info or visit the N.C. Hatteras Ferry’s Twitter page for updates.
A Storm Warning is now in effect for the coastal waters from Surf City to Oregon Inlet. Hatteras Island is expected to experience coastal flooding, gusty winds, possible ocean overwash, record low temperatures, and hazardous marine conditions beginning Friday, December 23, and lasting through Saturday, December 24, as a result of a strong storm system that will impact the Outer Banks area.
Coastal Flood Warning
A Coastal Flood Warning is in effect from 7:00 a.m. on Friday, December 23, through 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, December 24.
2-4 feet of above-ground soundside inundation is expected in low-lying areas near shorelines and tidal waterways. Vulnerable oceanfront areas are most at risk and residents and visitors in those areas should be ready to take action to protect property.
Ocean overwash should be expected at vulnerable beachfront properties and roadways around the time of high tide beginning Friday, December 23, and persisting into Saturday, December 24. N.C. Hwy. 12 on Hatteras Island may see ocean overwash that impacts travel. Oceanfront properties on the north end of Rodanthe that have experienced overwash are particularly vulnerable. Residents and visitors in this area should be prepared for flooding.
High Wind and High Surf Advisories
High Wind and High Surf Advisories are also in effect. West winds at 25-35 mph with gusts of 50 mph or more are expected tomorrow, December 23, from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
The west winds will continue into the weekend, making soundside flooding a threat from Kitty Hawk to Hatteras Island well into late Saturday. Flood waters may impact travel on roads that flood with persistent westerly winds. Travel through flooded roads should be avoided.
Wind Chill Advisory
The National Weather Service has also issued a Wind Chill Advisory for Hatteras Island and Dare County, effective from 7:00 a.m. on Friday, December 23, to 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, December 24. Arctic air will push into the region, reducing temperatures to possible record lows. These temperatures coupled with high winds could lower the wind chill to as low as zero degrees.
With power outages a possibility, everyone should prepare winter clothes and warm blankets. Check heating systems and pipes for insulation now to help avoid impacts as temperatures drop. As temperatures drop, keeping a slow flow of water in faucets may help keep uninsulated pipes from freezing. Please use caution when traveling outside during this time.
Click here to view winter fire safety tips, shared by the National Fire Protection Association.
For updated information regarding road conditions on N.C. Highway 12, follow the North Carolina Department of Transportation on Facebook at www.facebook/ncdotnc12, on Twitter @NCDOTNC12 or visit drivenc.gov.
To sign up to receive the latest emergency alerts issued by Dare County – including severe weather watches and warnings – visit www.OBXAlerts.com, or text DareEmergencyAlerts to 77295
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