FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE FROM COUNTY OF DARE DEPARTMENT OF EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT: February 7, 2016 7:30 AM
The rapidly strengthening coastal storm will bring strong northerly to northwesterly winds today, sustained at 30 to 40 mph along the entire Outer Banks. Gusts as high as 60 mph are expected with a High Wind Warning in effect for Dare County. Winds will be increasing north to northeast today, becoming north to northwest this evening. High winds will continue into early Monday morning with peaks occurring late Sunday afternoon into the evening hours. These winds could bring minor structural damage, take down trees and lead to power outages.
In addition to high winds, the storm will bring Coastal Flooding and High Surf. Water level rise of 3 to 5 feet above normal are possible throughout Dare County, both ocean and sound side. The typically vulnerable areas of Highway 12 may become flooded and impassable. Portions of Hatteras Village, Frisco and Buxton will likely see water inundation 1 to 3 feet above the ground. The oceanside areas north of Cape Hatteras are expected to see significant erosion and wave run-up from large, battering waves, making structures near the near the surf zone at risk for damage.
Water level rises will begin across the area later today peaking tonight for the sound side areas as winds become north northwesterly. On the ocean side, peaks should occur with Monday’s high tide cycle. Storm warnings on the sounds and coastal waters will make boating conditions potentially life threatening.
With High Wind, Coastal Flooding and High Surf warnings in place, residents should take action to protect themselves and their property. Those in flood prone areas are asked to monitor conditions and be ready to move to higher ground. Residents in low lying areas should should consider moving vehicles to higher ground.
Those planning to travel should exercise caution especially if driving high profile vehicles and traveling on Highway 12. Up to date weather information is available at www.weather.gov/mhx. For road conditions, go to www.ncdot.gov/traffictravel/. If emergency assistance is needed, don’t hesitate to call 911.