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As Maria moves off the coast Wednesday, conditions expected to improve

Stormy sound waters on Tuesday brush up against the ferry stacking lanes at the Ocracoke South dock at the north end of the island. Photo: NCDOT

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Winds have peaked over our area and will slowly diminish throughout the day, according to the 6 a.m. Wednesday morning briefing from the National Weather Service Newport/Morehead City Office.  
Winds will remain out of the north and gradually shift slightly toward the north-northwest through the day. Indications are that the next high tide cycle this afternoon could be the last where we see significant overwash and flooding on Hatteras and Ocracoke Islands.
Maria is expected to move slowly off the North Carolina coast today and then move away from the coast Thursday. 

As of 8 a.m. Wednesday, Tropical Storm Maria was located 155 miles east of Cape Hatteras and was moving north at 5 mph with maximum sustained winds of 70 mph.

Sound waters on Tuesday breach the road at the ferry stacking lanes at the north end of Ocracoke. Photo: NCDOT

While watches and warnings may be removed for the area by Wednesday evening, Hatteras and Ocracoke Islands will still have dangerous ocean conditions, standing water on many primary and secondary roads, as well as above normal water levels in the sound for some time.

Sound and ocean flooding continues to be reported in multiple locations along Hatteras and Ocracoke Islands. 
According to the NCDOT, from Bonner Bridge south, there is some sand and areas of standing water on the roadway. Standing water is most noticeably an issue in Avon, the Mirlo Beach area in Rodanthe and New Inlet north of the tri-villages (Rodanthe, Waves and Salvo).

In Hatteras, there was some overwash Tuesday night, and Hatteras village has had some significant sound side flooding issues. At the South Dock Ferry Terminal on Ocracoke, there is damage to the road surface on the outside stacking lane, but Highway 12 is in otherwise good condition.

The water on Highway 12 is deepest at high tide and recedes in between tides. The N.C. Department of transportation recommends staying off the road around high tide today (Sept. 27), which is 1:27 p.m. at Oregon Inlet. Motorists are urged to proceed with caution and to drive slowly through saltwater. 

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