OBX deals with high winds before Hurricane Matthew approaches

DARE COUNTY, N.C. (WAVY) — People in the southern Outer Banks continue to keep a watchful eye on Hurricane Matthew.

Much of the barrier islands of coastal North Carolina are still within the cone of uncertainty. To make matters worse, the towns are already dealing with strong northeast winds.

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The bold, or maybe the brave, tourists came out to enjoy the sun on Wednesday. In Kitty Hawk, sometimes it’s hard to get a beach day in when there isn’t much of a beach left. It’s even worse when a hurricane is looming, but that didn’t stop Harlana Steppe.

“We leave Saturday morning, so hopefully it’ll hold off till then,” she said while she walked along the beach. “But we were here last year, when a nor’easter went through and a hurricane went by so, it’s just like, ‘oh, here we go again.'”

“Here we go again” is a real feeling for locals like Jon Carter. Regardless of the hurricane’s path, the current wind is frustrating enough.

“We’ve got these northeast winds now and it’ll be like this for a couple of days and hopefully this [Route 12] can survive,” Carter said.

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Route 12 got some added protection Wednesday. Sand poured into dunes while waves rocked against the man-made wall. Even if Hurricane Matthew doesn’t come, Kitty Hawk Mayor Gary Perry said he’s not sure this will hold.

“The state road crews are trying to shore up what was washed away by Hermine and those areas,” Perry said. “It’s just a buffer. That’s all it is.”

A constant fear with any storm or heavy wind coming in: Will Route 12 hold?