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N.C. Highway 12 remains open on Friday morning; Ocean overwash possible through Saturday

Mirlo Beach area. NCDOT image. (Note, this stretch of roadway is NOT a part of N.C. Highway 12.)

A Coastal Flood Warning remains in effect for the Outer Banks, with large, dangerous surf and possible oceanside flooding due to distant Hurricane Lee, per an update from the National Weather Service Newport/Morehead City office.

Secondary road in Rodanthe. (Note, this stretch of roadway is not a part of N.C. Highway 12.)

Significant ocean overwash continues to be a threat for Hatteras and Ocracoke Islands, which will likely impact portions of N.C. Highway 12 and secondary roads. Flooding will be exacerbated during the next few high tides, which are at approximately 8:30 a.m. and 8:45 p.m. on Friday, September 15.

Though ocean overwash was reported with Thursday evening’s high tide in several locations, N.C. Highway 12 was open and passable throughout as of 8:00 a.m. on Friday morning, with some sand and standing water on vulnerable sections of the highway, including south of New Inlet Bridge on Pea Island, Buxton, north of Hatteras Village and the Mirlo Beach area in Rodanthe.

“N.C. 12 is open and passable, with sand and some overwash on Pea Island and in Buxton and Hatteras,” stated the North Carolina Department of Transportation in an online update. “There is some moderate to heavy overwash on secondary roads in Rodanthe. Crews are out clearing now.”

2 to 4 feet of flooding along the oceanside of Hatteras and Ocracoke Islands continues to be forecast through Saturday, especially in areas where the dunes are compromised. Hatteras Island could also see breaking waves of 10 to 16 feet in the surf zone, and significant beach erosion should be expected.

There are no soundside impacts from Hurricane Lee expected at this time along the Outer Banks. All Hatteras-Ocracoke ferries were running as scheduled on Friday morning.

A high risk of rip currents also remains in effect and will linger through the weekend. A high risk means that life-threatening rip currents are likely and beachgoers should stay out of the water.

The public should check surf and swimming conditions before heading to the beach, and the daily beach forecast at includes rip current risk levels, and information about other hazards along the shoreline. In addition, the public can visit Dare County’s Love The Beach, Respect The Ocean website for current rip current risks and additional info.

Visitors are also encouraged to sign up for text alerts from Dare County, ocean rescue agencies, and the National Weather Service by texting “OBXBeachConditions” to 77295.

Canal Zone in Pea Island. NCDOT image.
North Hatteras. NCDOT image.


NWS image


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