Winds and waves increasing as front pulls offshore of Outer Banks

Blowing sand and standing rain water are the main issues along N.C. 12 so far Friday afternoon. [courtesy NCDOT]

While our part of the state avoided the worst of the severe weather Thursday, the Outer Banks is now being buffeted by strong northerly winds that could cause multiple issues on both the ocean and sound side.

A steady rain fell and the winds increased on Friday behind a powerful cold front that is expected to park itself just offshore through the weekend.

Strong northerly winds will continue through tonight, becoming northeast on Saturday, according to forecasters at the Newport/Morehead City office of the National Weather Service.

This will lead to minor to moderate coastal flooding for portions of soundside Outer Banks, areas adjacent to the southern Pamlico Sound and the Neuse River. The weather service said they have already received some reports of minor flooding in Down East Carteret County.

One to two feet of water above ground on the sound side from Buxton to Ocracoke are possible.

Ocean overwash is also a significant concern, mainly for the east-facing beaches between the state line and Buxton at high tide around 1 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. on Saturday. Water levels of two to four feet above ground are possible.

A wind advisory, coastal flood warning and high surf advisory remains in effect into Saturday.

The strong winds have already led the North Carolina Ferry System to suspend operations to and from Ocracoke and other routes this afternoon.

Blowing sand and some standing water has been reported on N.C. 12, especially between Oregon Inlet and Rodanthe. Ponding from Friday’s rain has also been reported at low spots on roads and streets across the region.

The Town of Kill Devil Hills suspended all beach driving on Thursday, and has placed piles of sand at all access ramps as a precaution and to keep vehicles off the beach.

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