Strong westerly winds associated with a powerful Arctic front caused moderate to major soundside flooding at numerous locations on the Outer Banks on Friday.
Winds steadily increased on Festivus Friday morning to near 40 mph, with gusts of 50 to 60 mph, and pushed water levels up to as much as 2 to 4 feet above ground along the western shoreline from Duck to Avon, and the entirety of Roanoke Island.
While much of the flooding happened in low-lying areas that normally see water level rises on winds from the west, there are a few spots that only flood in extreme events that are covered with a few inches to around several feet of soundwater.
The highest wind gust recorded on the Outer Banks was 60 mph at Kitty Hawk Kites Resort in Waves at 12:27 p.m. The Coastal Studies Institute in Skyco on Roanoke Island recorded 59 mph at 9:30 a.m., Jennette’s Pier in Nags Head 58 mph at 2:56 p.m., and Oregon Inlet Coast Guard Station 54 mph at 11:37 a.m.
Winds began to ease late in the evening, staying in the 25 to 35 mph range with gusts as high as 50, so it may be some time before the water starts to subside.
Temperatures rapidly decreased after sunset into the 20s on the beach and down to single digits inland, slick spots were reported on roads that were wet from the flooding.
Those winds coupled with the cold air caused wind chills of around and even below zero through Saturday morning. A Wind Chill Advisory was posted for all of eastern North Carolina through Saturday morning.
Reports from around the region as of Saturday, 12:30 p.m.:
How the blow looks, and sounds, from inside the lantern room at the top of the Currituck Beach Lighthouse. Video courtesy Outer Banks Conservationists:
Water covering N.C. 12 along the Currituck Sound between Ship’s Watch and Duck Deli had started to recede late Friday evening, but the Dare County Sheriff’s Office reported ice and slush continues to be an issue in the area between Cook Drive and Ships Watch Drive.
Flooding along South Dogwood Trail around 3:15 p.m., courtesy Steven Jones:
Low lying areas along the sound in Kitty Hawk experienced flooding throughout the afternoon and into the evening.
Woods Road around 2 p.m., courtesy Chris David:
Kitty Hawk Road, courtesy Steven Jones:
— David A. Deel (@DavidADeel) December 23, 2022
— David A. Deel (@DavidADeel) December 23, 2022
Kill Devil Hills
Flooding reported along Bay Drive and Sportsman Drive. Both were closed to traffic.
Photo courtesy Matthew Elmendorf:
Colington Road was closed to all vehicles around 1:30 p.m. Friday due to flooding in several spots. The road reopened to high clearance vehicles around 4:30 p.m., and later to all traffic. All lanes were no longer covered by water around 8:30 p.m.
As of Saturday morning, near Blue Crab Tavern and Billy’s Seafood there was a large amount of ice and slush on Colington Road. Sand was also reported on the road in several locations.
Flooding and overwash was reported along Soundside Road and the U.S. 64 Causeway.
Just got back from there, the pontoon rental parking lot at the bottom of the big bridge was flooded as well, also saw these fools out on the water. pic.twitter.com/sE9WXVragP
— ECU Pirate Nation (@ECUpir8nation) December 23, 2022
Blowing sand was also an issue in the Jockey’s Ridge area.
— Jody O’Donnell (@jodyobx) December 23, 2022
— Julie Bergman (@geckoranch) December 23, 2022
Click PLAY to watch live video of Queen Elizabeth Street in downtown Manteo:
Town Manager Melissa Dickerson said crews were out early this morning cleaning up debris from yesterday’s floodwaters. Most of the flood waters have subsided, but a few roads remain closed.
The roadways that are currently closed include: Fernando Street (east of Highway 64), Agona Street (east of Highway 64), and Queen Elizabeth Avenue (from Fernando Street to Sir Walter Raleigh Street). Increasing water levels were observed this morning on Queen Elizabeth Avenue, which is a great reminder as to how quickly conditions can change. As conditions change, road closures are also subject to change.
REMEMBER: Do not drive on water-covered roads or beyond a barricade. Entering a flooded area risks your life and the lives of the people that may be sent to rescue you. If you come upon a flooded street, remember to turn around, don’t drown.
The Town of Manteo has an ordinance that prohibits driving in flooded streets. Violation of this ordinance carries a $250 fine.
There is ice on the road near The Christmas Shop in Manteo as well as the other areas that flooded near by there. Mashoes Road is flooded and there is black ice along the straightaways.
When we parked in Manteo it was dry – this is less than 30min later. pic.twitter.com/eP39DmZjni
— SharonKroger (@SharonKroger) December 23, 2022
There was ice on the road early Saturday near The Christmas Shop in Manteo as well as the other areas that flooded. Mashoes Road is flooded and there is black ice along the straightaways. The main roads throughout these areas are all clear and passable with possible icy conditions.
Standing water was reported on N.C. 12 between Whalebone Junction and the accessible duck blind/wildlife viewing stand parking lot, and about 1/2 mile north of the Oregon Inlet Fishing Center.
Soundside flooding was reported in Buxton, Frisco, and Hatteras village. N.C. Highway 12 in Avon was flooded throughout the village. Soundside flooding was also reported between Avon and Buxton, as well as between Avon and Salvo.
N.C. 12 reopened to traffic overnight, but the Dare County Sheriff’s Office reported there is slush, ice and blown sand in multiple places south of Oregon Inlet to Hatteras village.
The Hatteras-Ocracoke ferry route resumed operations at 12:30 p.m. The Ocracoke-mainland ferries are also operating the evening runs.