The precautionary advisory against swimming issued due to Hurricane Ian is now lifted for most coastal North Carolina waters, however, three areas on Hatteras Island remain under observation and under a pending swimming advisory.
These areas are:
- Sandy Bay sound-side access in Frisco;
- Salvo Day Use sound-side access across from ORV Ramp #23 in Salvo; and
- Ocean access at north end of Seagull Street in Rodanthe.
State officials will test these sites again today, and the results of the sampling will dictate further action. If the new samples also show elevated bacteria counts, state officials will post a swimming advisory sign and issue a swimming advisory.
The precautionary advisory was issued Sept. 30 as Hurricane Ian approached the Carolinas, because excessive rains and flooding can cause high levels of bacteria in the water that can make people sick. Floodwaters and storm water runoff can contain pollutants such as waste from septic systems, sewer line breaks, pet waste, wildlife, petroleum products and other chemicals.
Coastal recreational waters in North Carolina are generally clean. However, it is important to continue monitoring them and inform the public of any localized problems. The N.C. Recreational Water Quality Program samples 215 sites in coastal waters of the state, most of them on a weekly basis from April through October.