Dare residents can come back Saturday; visitors Sunday

By on September 14, 2018

The new dune line in Kitty Hawk seemed to be doing its job. (Terry Cargill Askew)

National Weather Service radar | Click for the latest

Hurricane Florence crossed onto land 300 miles south of the Outer Banks this morning, and the expansive storm continued throw some squalls and high surf onto the shoreline up to the Virginia line and beyond.

Hatteras Island is still shut down, but with flooding and damage minimal above Oregon Inlet, Dare County officials said in a statement this morning that they expect to start a phased re-entry onto the northern beaches Saturday morning.

“Permanent residents will be allowed re-entry with a valid NC driver’s license with a local address or a current Dare County property tax bill or parcel data sheet,” the statement said.

“Non-resident essential personnel of critical businesses such as food service/supply, pharmacies, banks, gas stations, property management, building supply and hotels will be permitted re-entry only with a permit.

“It is anticipated that visitors will be allowed entry to areas north of Oregon Inlet beginning Sunday, Sept. 16 at 7 a.m.”

See the full statement »

They advised, however, that travelers should first check road conditions south and west of the Outer Banks.

Meanwhile, towns on Hatteras are flooded, however, and N.C. 12, the only access to the island, is closed. Water rescues were under way in historic New Bern, an inland town about 145 miles from Nags Head.

Because of conditions along N.C. 12 and in the villages, re-entry to Hatteras Island is still up in the air.

“We want to give NCDOT 24-to-36 hours to assess and work on Highway 12 and we still have standing water and other potential issues to deal with there,” Bob Woodard, chairman of the Dare County Board of Commissioners said this morning.

“Also, there is a strong possibility of more ocean overwash during the next one or two high tide cycles.”

Woodard and other officials were on their way to Hatteras Island to assess the situation when he spoke to the Voice this morning.

The dunes were breached just outside Hatteras village. (NCDOT)

“Our road crews inspected N.C. 12 on Hatteras Island this morning, and while there are still several areas of deep sand and standing water, we are cautiously optimistic that there is no apparent damage to the pavement,” the NCDOT posted on the Highway 12 Facebook page. “We expect more overwash over the next few high tide cycles, but hopefully things will gradually improve as Florence weakens and moves away from the area.”

Dare County officials said two National Guard four-wheel-drive ambulances and two humvees, each manned with two people, were stationed on Hatteras Island to help EMS with any calls for assistance.

Winds on the Outer Banks were running about 30 mph in most of the area, slightly less than yesterday. A UNC Coastal Studies Institute buoy off Nags Head recorded wave heights of about 13 feet this morning.

This morning, the National Hurricane Center said that the center of the storm was about 130 miles southwest of Buxton and heading west-northwest at 6 mph.

Maximum sustained winds were 90 mph, which will remain far south of the Outer Banks as the storm makes landfall today somewhere around Wilmington, N.C.

Florence is about 400 miles wide, with tropical storm force winds of at least 34 mph radiating 195 miles from the center and hurricane winds of 74 mph or more, 80 miles.

Check back for continuous updates.

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  • Karen Muse

    has Wright memorial bridge reopened?

    Friday, Sep 14 @ 9:25 am
  • Really?

    Dare County officials said in a statement this morning that, for now, the mandatory evacuation order will stay in place. They are evaluating areas north of Oregon Inlet.

    “Starting this morning, damage assessment teams will be working to assess conditions and re-entry guidelines will be established once conditions are deemed safe,” the statement said.

    Friday, Sep 14 @ 10:04 am
  • Runnerguy45

    Dare County should NEVER have acted so early. This is beyond ridiculous !

    Don Slater weatherman on WAVY 10 was saying were not getting anything too bad.

    Why did the County officials feel the need to act Tuesday for a storm that wasn’t supposed to hit till Saturday ?

    This was a big nothing !!

    Friday, Sep 14 @ 10:13 am
  • Corolla Resident

    Article says perhaps Sunday 7 am, Karen.

    Friday, Sep 14 @ 11:04 am
  • Mateo Guy

    The storm was supposed to hit on Thursday evening. Better to act early than to be too late. The County’s crystal ball did not tell them the storm was going to turn south and west. Don Slater is a hack.

    Friday, Sep 14 @ 11:30 am
  • Mich

    Without full access to hwy 12 and essential personnel, how are we supposed to get the rental houses unprepped and ready for new guests? Not smart!

    Friday, Sep 14 @ 11:40 am
  • Sam Walker

    No one is getting south of Oregon Inlet at this point, and there is no date for when it will open to residents, personnel or visitors. Only north of Oregon Inlet is opening on Sunday.

    Friday, Sep 14 @ 12:29 pm
  • Dylan

    They absolutely did the right thing by restricting access. This storm was very unpredictable and even the National Hurricane Center stated that was the case. It was supposed to turn out to sea on the other side of Bermuda…it didn’t. It was supposed to turn between Bermuda and US coast. It didn’t. Now it is expected to move southwest, which is extremely rare for an east coast hurricane. Tourists get themselves into trouble because they don’t know or understand. And it takes a long time to evacuate Hatteras and must be done before conditions prevent it.
    Smart decision.

    Friday, Sep 14 @ 11:46 am
  • Sudie

    I work for Midgetts cleaning service can I get on the beach tomorrow to go to work??

    Friday, Sep 14 @ 11:52 am
  • JM

    Actually, schools closed and evacuation was ordered on Hatteras Island on Monday am. That really was too early given the forecast that existed at that time. Once the storm turned south and went from Cat 4 to now a Cat 1, the early action appeared ill advised. Of course, Dare Co. and the governor can’t predict the weather, but being overly cautious in this case will cost the residents of Hatteras Island a lot of much needed business.

    Friday, Sep 14 @ 11:55 am
  • Susan

    The intelligent response is “whew!” And an attitude of thankfulness. Weather is unpredictable to a large degree. I betcha the same people complaining about the early evacuation call would be the first to be outraged if they didn’t get out in time. #sonegative #iamapropertyowner

    Friday, Sep 14 @ 12:15 pm
  • Cypress Moon Inn

    Beginning late last week the weather models showed the current outcome for Florence. That prediction barely waivered into early this week. We had far worse weather in early January. Our bank has been closed for 4 days now. In my 51 years Surfing here this weather event is just average. Isabel and Irene were far far worse

    Friday, Sep 14 @ 12:17 pm
  • manteobxr

    @ runnerguy45 Hatteras is part of dare county. How else would you induce the visitors to leave? You cannot evacuate the permanent residents of dare in 24 hours, much less an additional 100,000 to 150,000 visitors. What would be your plan, since apparently you know better than everyone else? Oh BTW, don’t leave O-coke out of your evacuation plan, as a south and west escape route would not have been advisable either.

    Friday, Sep 14 @ 12:19 pm
  • Liz

    This article addresses permanent residents and then visitors in duck . It says nothing about non resident homeowners,the other type of re entry pass, , so when can I come?

    Friday, Sep 14 @ 12:41 pm
  • Sam Walker

    Non-resident property owners are also included in Saturday’s reentry. Inadvertently left out of the story.

    Friday, Sep 14 @ 1:03 pm
  • Dylan

    I am appalled at those who can only think of their lost rental revenue. Safety first, not the almighty dollar. Think of others, such as first responders who put their lives at risk because of foolish demands.
    And the predictions were far from what happened. This storm consistently fooled the forecasters for 8 days. An abundance of caution was appropriate and should be applauded.

    Friday, Sep 14 @ 12:49 pm
  • Runnerguy45

    This has been a fiasco by the local officials. I feel for the local resident worker who left the beach, lost a weeks worth of pay, spent hard earned money on hotels, gas and food.
    Again there were local weather people saying it was not going to be anything like the past famous storms and to ignore those suggesting that. The doomsayers won out though.

    Friday, Sep 14 @ 3:12 pm
  • Kyle

    Yeah ! What Dylan said.

    Friday, Sep 14 @ 3:25 pm
  • lizlee

    Before you scold people about the almighty dollar and lost rental revenue, please remember that most locals don’t own those income producing properties you talk about. Most locals are the folks who clean the cottages, catch the fish, wait tables, and serve up the food, and so on. They aren’t getting rich! Many have two or more jobs to make ends meet. Get it? As has been mentioned, evacuating is expensive. Folks who are already on a tight budget have to think long and hard about evacuating, and would like to hear logical reasons to do so. They don’t want the hype or words like “screaming wind”, “terrifying onslaught” or “wreaked havoc”. Just the facts please.

    Friday, Sep 14 @ 11:45 pm
  • Dylan


    The local resident worker whom you empathize with are fortunate to 1]have a home to come back to and 2] a job to come back to. Many in Eastern North Carolina have neither.
    And I heard not one local weather forecaster be so irresponsible to suggest that this storm did not have the potential to be catastrophic. And it was catastrophic, just not for the northern outer banks. Be thankful.

    Saturday, Sep 15 @ 7:48 am