Island Free Press: NCDOT working to reopen N.C. 12, additional overwash forecast for this afternoon

Mirlo Beach at 9:15 a.m. Crews have been working north of there at S-Turns to remove up to 6 feet of sand from the highway. [NCDOT image]

N.C. Highway 12 remains closed between Oregon Inlet and Rodanthe, as well as on Ocracoke Island between the Pony Pens and the Ferry Terminal, but N.C. Department of Transportation (NCDOT) crews are on the scene and making progress at both locations in calmer conditions, per a Wednesday morning update from NCDOT.

“We are making every effort to reopen the highway to motorists sometime this afternoon,” stated the update.

Elevated water levels continue to bring coastal flooding and overwash issues to some coastal communities, including the Outer Banks, the Crystal Coast, and areas around the lower Pamlico Sound, at least through the midday high tide on Wednesday, per the National Weather Service Newport / Morehead City office. Otherwise, the weather will remain pleasant for the next several days, with temps trending back toward normal, (which for this time of year is highs around 80.)

A Coastal Flood Advisory remains in effect until 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, and a High Surf Advisory is in effect until 2:00 p.m. on Thursday. Large breaking waves of 6 to 12 feet in the surf zone will lead to an elevated risk of rip currents for the next several days, and additional coastal flooding on N.C. Highway 12 is possible with Wednesday’s midday high tide, which is at approximately 1:00 p.m.

The Canal Zone south of the Basnight Bridge at 7:30 a.m. [NCDOT]
Buxton at 7:30 a.m. [NCDOT]

Significant ocean overwash was reported throughout the islands with Tuesday’s high tides in northern Hatteras village, Buxton, Avon, Rodanthe, Pea Island, and northern Ocracoke Island. Standing saltwater and potentially deep sand remain on N.C. Highway 12 at all of these locations. Travelers are advised to use caution and to avoid driving in these areas if possible, as saltwater can heavily damage vehicles.

For more information on the local forecast, visit for weather information, or the National Weather Service office in Newport / Morehead City’s Facebook page at

For real-time travel information, visit or follow NCDOT on social media.

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