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Storm closes section of NC barrier islands' road to mainland

Posted at 5:59 PM, Nov 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-07 17:59:29-05

RODANTHE, N.C. (AP) - A section of the only road linking Hatteras Island to North Carolina's mainland was closed Sunday due to ocean and sound flooding as a storm brought high winds and rains to the coast, authorities said.

The state Department of Transportation said that N.C. Highway 12 was closed from Rodanthe north to the Marc Basnight Bridge at Oregon Inlet, or about 13 miles (21 kilometers).

The morning high tide contributed to ocean overwash that breached dunes protecting the road, according to DOT. Conditions didn't immediately improve, and the department said later Sunday that the stretch could remain closed through Tuesday, since crews must clear the road and rebuild washed out dunes.

Before the storm arrived Saturday, DOT said that it had staged equipment near potential trouble spots this weekend.

It's not uncommon for portions of N.C. 12 to be impassable during a hurricane or other significant storm.

The weather service posted coastal flood and high wind warnings for the Outer Banks heading south to Ocracoke Island. Moderate to major coastal flooding also was expected into Monday on roads and coastal properties along the southern Pamlico Sound and lower Neuse River, the weather office said.