DARE COUNTY, N.C. (WAVY) — Portions of North Carolina Highway 12 in the Outer Banks will likely now remain closed through Wednesday afternoon after conditions left several feet of sand on the roadways, North Carolina Department of Transportation officials say.
The closures are from the Basnight Bridge to Rodanthe, and on Ocracoke between the pony pens and the ferry terminal. Portions had been closed throughout the weekend and Monday, but were expected to reopen on Tuesday. However another high tide was “severely hampering” reopening efforts Tuesday afternoon.
Ferry service between Hatteras and Ocracoke will resume once the road is reopened on Ocracoke.
Strong winds coming from Hurricane Teddy in the Atlantic have been accentuating tidal flooding and leading to the overwash and sand. Officials say in some places the sand is 4-6 feet high on the roadway.
“As far as Northeaster conditions go this is probably a little worse than usual,” said Tim Hass with NCDOT.
On Monday in Buxton, the ocean had come up to the already precariously perched Cape Hatteras Motel. The motel is just yards from the ocean on a normal day.
“This has been about as bad as I’ve seen it,” said Jan Dawson, owner of the Cape Hatteras Motel. “Even during hurricanes, the ocean is extremely agitated right now.”
NCDOT began warning about possible NC 12 shutdowns over the weekend, encouraging people to leave. Dawson says they alerted their guests as well.
“We started calling people asking them maybe if they wanted to delay their visit or if they were already here to leave early,” Dawson explained. “We were able to get most people to either adjust their reservation or just leave but we still have some people here.”
Those who stayed behind are stuck for now.
Meanwhile further down the Outer Banks, overwash broke though a dune on Ocracoke Island around 1:40 p.m. Monday onto NC 12, Cape Hatteras National Seashore tweeted.
NCDOT officials want to remind drivers to stay cautious when the road does re-open. There will still be leftover sand and saltwater.
Updated ferry departures and information can be found here.
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