MIAMI (AP/WAVY) — The ocean is washing over parts of North Carolina’s Outer Banks as Hurricane Jose passes well to the east.
The state Transportation Department said in a Facebook post Monday that ocean overwash has occurred at Pea Island, Rodanthe, Avon and Hatteras village on Hatteras Island. About 4 inches of standing water was reported on N.C. Highway 12 at the northern end of Rodanthe.
Jose was located about 250 miles east of Cape Hatteras on Monday evening, moving north at 10 mph. The Category 1 storm had maximum sustained winds of 75 mph.
Gallery: Local effects from Hurricane Jose
DOT is urging drivers to drive slowly through the water. All roads are passable.
10 On Your Side drove all the way down to Avon on the Outer Banks of North Carolina and saw dunes washed away. There is also long standing water on Highway 12 in Mirlo Beach north of Rodanthe, and also in Avon on the way to Buxton.
The Highway 12 overwash was the same in some back neighborhoods towards the sound which was the major reason school was cancelled today on Hatteras Island. There was only spotty rain today, but the violent surf taking out dunes lead to the property flooding in Avon.
That’s where 10 On Your Side found Brittany Beadnell. She couldn’t believe how extensive nature of the flooding.
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“Luckily we are staying away from here. We are up at the end of the street, so we don’t have any water. It is scary. I don’t know what we would do,” says Beadnell.
At Jennette’s Pier in Nags Head, you could see the surf churning under the pier. It is violent, rough, choppy, and it’s been like that all day.
Red Flag warnings are up which means no swimming and there is a riptide current warning. Jason Gottschalk from Richmond tested out the surf.
“Waves were coming in here. It’s like bath water, and it’s pulling you right out. You just have to be careful where you go and be mindful,” says Gottschalk.
10 On Your Side found a sign that reads, “Please Keep off the Dunes”, too late for that, the dunes are gone. Carol Wallis lives down here, and is concerned about the disappearance of dunes and the protection they provide.
“The dunes use to be high as those stairs there. That is probably 15 feet, and this is low tide,” says Wallis.
Dare County Emergency Management officials have warned of rough surf in the Outer Banks in the days leading up to Jose passage. Visitors in the Outer Banks told 10 On Your Side they felt some anxiety about the approaching storm on the heels of two monster storms — Harvey and Irma — down south.
John Eckes, from Kitty Hawk, said he’s been through several Category 1 hurricanes before and does not typically board up his house.
“It’s the Outer Banks,” he said. “That’s what happens down here. You take your chances.”
While surfers were looking forward to the bigger waves, Rick Scott admits it is dangerous.
“The ocean is going to really kick up,” said Rick Scott, an avid surfer who has lived in Kill Devil Hills for 10 years. “It’s going to be nasty and anybody that goes in swimming they are taking their life in their own hands.”
Drew Pearson, emergency manager for Dare County, says residents and visitors should stock up on any essentials and watch the forecast through Tuesday in case the storm track farther inland.
By Saturday morning, Jose is expected to drift south and weaken to possibly an area of low pressure. The system might move to the west a bit after that time.
Behind Jose, Hurricane Maria is getting ready to pass over the Lesser Antilles as a major hurricane. WAVY’s team meteorologists says Maria will be worth watching closely over the next several days.
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