Hurricane Sandy Batters Coastal North Carolina
Sections of N.C. 12 impassable; Bonner Bridge closed for further inspection
RALEIGH—As Hurricane Sandy's center of circulation continues to churn southeast of Cape Hatteras, effects of the powerful storm are being felt all along coastal North Carolina.
Due to flooding and overwash, N.C. 12 is closed from Rodanthe to the Oregon Inlet bridge, which was closed this evening after N.C. Department of Transportation inspectors determined that the bridge was unsafe for traffic at this time. Divers and inspectors will resume inspection of the bridge as soon as conditions allow.
Further south, Ocracoke Island is currently experiencing extreme sound side flooding and N.C. 12 is flooded with up 24 inches of water in the village and at least 2 inches of moving water on the highway north of the village.
Overwash has also been reported in Kitty Hawk, Kill Devil Hills, Nags Head, and north of Buxton.
N.C. 12 is also impassable between Sea Level and Cedar Island in Carteret County. In areas east of Smyrna, Williston and Stacy, tidal flooding has partially covered U.S. 70.
Continually deteriorating conditions throughout the day have prevented NCDOT from assessing the extent of damage to roadways. High tide tonight at 7 p.m. and tomorrow at 8 a.m. is likely to push more water and sand onto the roads. Similar weather conditions are expected to continue overnight and through the day on Monday and additional damage is likely to occur during that time.
Crews and equipment are staged along N.C. 12 to assess the damage as soon as the storm passes and conditions are deemed safe.
Most ferry operations were suspended Saturday and will remain suspended until conditions improve. The Southport-Fort Fisher route is operating on a normal schedule.
NCDOT will issue additional updates when weather conditions subside and crews are able to better assess the damage sustained in the storm. This is expected to occur no earlier than Monday morning.