Nor'easter leaves some Outer Banks islands inaccessible
Posted March 4, 2018 9:23 a.m. EST
Updated July 13, 2018 11:17 a.m. EDT
Nags Head, N.C. — An Outer Banks highway is closed Monday due to flooding and ocean overwash, routine operations and travel have been stalled and many communities are facing wind and water damage.
Photos and video from the Outer Banks community of Avon show flooded swimming pools and waves reaching the porches of beach homes.
The flooding is a product of a nor'easter that pounded the Atlantic coast with hurricane-force winds and sideways rain and snow Friday, flooding streets, grounding flights, stopping trains and leaving 1.6 million customers without power from North Carolina to Maine.
The National Weather Service has a coastal flood warning in effect until noon Monday in coastal Dare County. The weather service says flooding continues on the ocean side of the Outer Banks in Dare County with tides running 2 feet (0.6 meters) to 3 feet (1 meter) above ground level.
Forecasters say minor flooding is expected to continue into Tuesday.
North Carolina Highway 12, near Nags Head, is closed in both directions between the Herbert C. Bonner Bridge and Rodanthe, and ferry operations to Ocracoke Island have been suspended, according to the National Park Service. The road closed Sunday and is not expected to reopen until Monday afternoon.
The highway travels the northeastern coastline of North Carolina, linking the islands of the northern Outer Banks.
"There have been some episodes like this over the last couple of days, with those strong winds blowing initially from the west," said WRAL meteorologist Mike Moss.
Several coastal flood advisories remain in effect, but Moss says they will begin to die down as the low continues to pull farther away over the next couple of days.
According to Moss, the recent full moon is also playing its part, making tidal ranges higher than they are at other points in the moon's orbit.
A press release from the National Park Service cautioned Outer Banks residents and visitors to avoid walking or driving on beaches and to not enter the water, as potentially hazardous ocean debris may wash ashore.
The Coast Guard is also warning mariners of navigation hazards after about 70 cargo containers fell off of a cargo ship Saturday night about 17 miles off Oregon Inlet due to high winds and heavy seas. Cape Hatteras National Seashore visitors should report sightings of cargo containers either offshore or on the beach to Dare County’s non-emergency line at 252-473-3444.