Life-threatening storm surge; extended closures of N.C. 12 possible with weekend nor’easter

NWS graphic

The National Weather Service in Newport/Morehead City has issued coastal flood, high surf and high wind watches ahead of a powerful nor’easter expected to impact the Outer Banks this weekend. The coastal storm system will bring high winds and seas from midday Saturday until midday Monday.

The nor’easter has the potential to cause life-threatening storm surge inundation 2 to 4 feet above ground level for oceanside communities and in soundside areas adjacent to Pamlico Sound, authorities said.

NWS graphic

High surf, beach erosion and ocean overwash are expected. According to NCDOT, depending on the storm surge and overwash, portions of N.C. 12 could be closed for extended periods during high tide cycles over the next few days.

NCDOT say the most severe ocean overwash will likely occur in Kitty Hawk near mile post 2 and on Pea Island.

Transportation crews have been staging motor graders and other equipment on Pea Island in advance of the storm and will have crews on call ready to respond to assess road conditions and clear sand-covered roads when conditions permit. Forecasters expect the system to move offshore Sunday into Monday morning.

NWS graphic

“All residents, visitors and property owners, especially those in oceanfront areas and places prone to soundside flooding, are advised to take precautions now to protect property,” Dare County emergency management officials said in a news release. “Outdoor furnishings, trash cans, and any loose items should be properly secured.”

Visitors should contact accommodations providers for updates on local conditions, monitor the storm and plan accordingly if travel is necessary.

Cape Hatteras National Seashore will close the Oregon Inlet, Frisco and Cape Point campgrounds at noon Friday. The campgrounds will reopen after the storm passes and assessments are completed.

Motorists should proceed with extreme caution this weekend and check road conditions before traveling, especially during periods of high tide, authorities say.

This story originally appeared on OBXToday.com. Read More local stories here.