Outer Banks Braces For Hurricane Maria’s Impact

September 25, 2017 by   - () Comments Off on Outer Banks Braces For Hurricane Maria’s Impact

This Sept. 25, 2017 photo shows the beaches of Kitty Hawk, N.C. ahead of Hurricane Maria.

The Outer Banks, a barrier of islands off the coast of North Carolins, is bracing for impact from Hurricane Maria that is expected to hit this week.

According to WAVY, a mandatory evacuation has been ordered for visitors on Ocracoke. The Hyde County Board of Commissioners declared a state of emergency Sunday for all of Hyde County. A tropical storm warning was issued Monday (Sept. 25) morning for Dare County.

Kitty Hawk was seeing rough surf and winds Monday before Maria arrived offshore. Red flags were in place in Nags Head on Sunday.

Impacts from the storm could include tropical storm force winds and storm surge along the coast.

Hyde County said Sunday all reservations would be canceled and all tolls would be waived for ferries leaving Ocracoke and traveling to Cedar Island or Swan Quarter.

The Ocracoke Campground closed at noon Sunday due to the path of the storm.

“We encourage all Ocracoke visitors to leave as soon as possible Monday,” said Ferry Division Director Harold Thomas. “We also encourage visitors to leave via Swan Quarter or Cedar Island if at all possible to avoid potential issues on N.C. 12 on Hatteras Island.”

The last ferry ride out of Ocracoke could be as soon as Monday night.

Residents said they are not panicking, but are keeping a close eye on the storm. The North Carolina Department Of Transportation (NCDOT) says it expects ocean overwash to occur on N.C. 12 and worsen as Maria gets closer to the coast.

An active tropical season has impacted the region already in 2017, including a beach replenishment project for Kitty Hawk. Hurricane Jose passed offshore last week, and caused some flooding and overwash in portions of the Outer Banks.

The Outer Banks were also hit by a power outage on July 27, which forced the evacuation of 60,000 residents and tourists. They were allowed to return to the island on Aug. 4.

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