Update: The Swan Quarter and Cedar Island ferries are canceled for Thursday, Sept. 29.

By Peter Vankevich

Even though Hurricane Ian is expected to pass through central and western North Carolina as a tropical storm, the National Weather Service announced late Wednesday afternoon that the Outer Banks should expect a prolonged period of wind with gusts up to the mid-40s mph.

Heavy rain could cause flooding and elevated waters from Ian and other weather systems will bring a long duration of elevated waters through multiple high tide cycles. 

“Regardless of how far west Ian will move through the state, this is going to be persistent storm event, the worst on Friday for the Outer Banks, and will remain breezy into Saturday,” said Erik Heden, warning coordination meteorologist in the Weather Forecast Office out of Newport/Morehead City.

The stormy weather on the Outer Banks is, in part, due to the collision of a cold front and the moist air from Ian.

Hurricane Ian hit Florida today (Sept. 28) as a high category 4, one of the strongest hurricanes ever to hit the United States, causing catastrophic storm surge, winds and flooding and is expected to be one of the most devastating hurricanes to hit the United States. The storm pummeled the lower part of the state and is moving inland north/northeast.

The passenger service ferry between Hatteras and Ocracoke, scheduled to end for the season on Friday, ceased running today due to the storm effects. Other North Carolina ferry routes will likely be impacted as the weather deteriorates and NC 12 may have periodic overwash.

Dangerous rip currents continue and people are urged to stay out of the water.

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