RODANTHE – The N.C. Department of Transportation is warning motorists along the Outer Banks to expect portions of N.C. 12 to be closed for extended periods during high tide cycles over the next few days as a storm system lingers off the Atlantic coast.
Motorists should avoid driving through standing or rushing water and should not drive around barricades or signs, as these are put in place for peoples’ safety. Most flood-related drownings occur when someone drives through standing or rushing water.
N.C. 12 was closed between the Basnight Bridge and Rodanthe Thursday evening and again Friday morning. NCDOT officials are warning the pattern will continue until the storm moves away. Crews will be working diligently to clear the roadway when conditions permit, but each high tide cycle brings ocean overwash and sand back onto the highway.
High tide Friday was at 7 p.m. and will be at 7:18 a.m. and 7:35 p.m. on Saturday. On Sunday, high tide will be at 7:52 a.m. and 8:09 p.m.
Even when open, motorists should proceed with extreme caution and never drive into floodwaters.
Oceanside flooding was also reported at other hot spots on Hatteras Island on Friday morning, including north Buxton and the Ocean View Drive area of Avon, with ocean water spilling over onto the highway.
The ocean overwash is due to a large low pressure system that is lingering off the Mid-Atlantic coast. Dangerous surf conditions, including rip currents, beach erosion and continued ocean overwash are forecast along the Outer Banks into this weekend, with the most significant impacts expected along the ocean side north of Cape Hatteras.
Seas will run between 10 to 14 feet just offshore from the Outer Banks north of Cape Hatteras, and a high surf advisory has been posted until Saturday morning for breaking waves of 6 to 9 feet onshore.