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Sunny skies today expected to change

The ocean is up to the dunes on Saturday at the Lifeguard Beach

The ocean is up to the dunes on Saturday at the Lifeguard Beach. Photo by C. Leinbach

Round-up of Ocracoke weather updates on Saturday, 4:38 p.m.

Even though it is sunny, breezy and warm here, Ocracoke Island remains in a state of emergency and only residents and property owners and limited commercial vendors are allowed onto the long-route ferries to Ocracoke.  Highway 12 north of the pony pens experienced over wash from Friday’s storm. According to the NCDOT website here, it is expected to open at 9 a.m. tomorrow (Sunday).

From the National Weather Center: Swells generated by Joaquin are affecting much of the southeastern coast of the United States and will spread northward along the east coast of the United States through the weekend. . These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions. Even though Joaquin is expected to pass well east of the coast of the United States, a prolonged period of elevated water levels and large waves will affect the mid-Atlantic region, causing significant beach and dune erosion with moderate coastal flooding likely.  

From the Outer Banks Group Cape Hatteras National Seashore:

The Seashore experienced significant coastal flooding on Friday and will experience rough surf conditions, especially during high tides, with ocean over-wash and coastal flooding, and strong winds through Sunday and into Monday depending on the track of Hurricane Joaquin. 

Weather conditions are expected to deteriorate again this afternoon (Saturday).  A coastal flood warning is in effect through Monday, and a coastal flood watch is in effect for Sunday and Monday.

For public safety and the welfare of park visitors and staff, Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Wright Brothers National Memorial and Fort Raleigh National Historic Site will remain closed today.  Wright Brothers National Memorial will reopen to the public at 9 a.m. Sunday.

The following NPS visitor facilities and services remain impacted by storm conditions including significant flooding in low lying areas:

All NPS campgrounds, Ocracoke, Frisco, Cape Point and Oregon Inlet remain closed until further notice.  The Recreation.gov campground reservation system has been temporarily suspended.

Silver Lake Marina on Ocracoke Island and Oregon Inlet Marina on Bodie Island remain closed.

All NPS Off-Road Vehicles ramps remain closed until further notice. Significant flooding has effected most ORV ramps and high tides and beach erosion has left very little beach that could be available for beach driving.  ORV ramps and routes will be evaluated frequently and will open as soon as possible.

South Point Road is closed until further notice.

South Point Road is closed until further notice. Photo by C. Leinbach

The Ocracoke, Buxton, and Bodie Island Off-Road Vehicle Permit offices remain closed until further notice.

NPS visitor centers at Ocracoke, Hatteras Island, Bodie Island, and Fort Raleigh National Historic Site remain closed until further notice.  The visitor center at Wright Brothers National Memorial will re-open at 9 a.m. Sunday.

Cape Hatteras and Bodie Island Lighthouses remain closed to climbing. The grounds and parking area at Bodie Island Lighthouse are currently open.

Lighthouse Road  leading to Cape Hatteras Lighthouse in Buxton Village is closed due to flooding.

Among the businesses open on Ocracoke Island are:

The Ocracoke Variety Store will close today at 7 p.m.

Ocracoke Bar & Grille

Ocracoke Oyster Company

Gaffer’s Sports Pub

The Community Store

The Flying Melon Cafe on Back Road will be opening tonight with a appetizer and dessert menu; drink specials. They will roll out a couple new things they’ve been thinking about. Starting at 6 p.m.

Zillie’s Island Pantry: open until 8:30 p.m.

Travelers can also check highway and road conditions at www.weather.gov/mhx.

The ocean was roiling today.

The roiling ocean today. Photo by C. Leinbach

COAST GUARD TO THE RESCUE.  Coast Guard members stationed at Hatteras on Saturday delivered the mail to Ocracoke, "about 11 or 12 bags," said Tod Midgett, BMI E6, the boat captain. They took about 6 bags of Ocracoke mail. With Midgett are Terrence O'Toole, rear, and Chet Ceren.

COAST GUARD TO THE RESCUE. Coast Guard members stationed at Hatteras on Saturday delivered the mail to Ocracoke, “about 11 or 12 bags,” said Tod Midgett, BMI E6, the boat captain. After having lunch at the Ocracoke Oyster Company, they took about 6 bags of Ocracoke mail. With Midgett are Terrence O’Toole, rear, and Chet Ceren.

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