Ocracoke Island and Hatteras Island Evacuated As Flooding Expected Along Coast
Now a Category 1 storm, Marina will come close enough to North Carolina this week to trigger gusty winds and rain while bringing dangerous seas elsewhere along the East Coast.
As a precaution, officials have issued forced mandatory evacuations of visitors in Ocracoke Island and Hatteras Island as well as the closure of the Ocracoke Campground.
Maria is forecast to pass about 150 miles of the Outer Banks on Wednesday. The core of the storm with hurricane force wind will stay offshore with only a slight chance of landfall.
“During the middle of the week, Maria may move rather close to the Outer Banks of North Carolina,” said AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Dan Pydynowski.
“We expect Maria to bring tropical storm conditions, or the equivalent of a moderate nor’easter in part of eastern North Carolina and in southeastern Virginia,” according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski.
“We do not expect Maria to regain major hurricane status. Further weakening is likely at midweek.”
Sporadic power outages can occur and coastal flooding and beach erosion are anticipated.
Maria may stall for a time near the coast. This would prolong the period of onshore winds, which push water toward the coast. There would be a period of moderate coastal flooding and significant beach erosion along the Outer Banks and southeastern Virginia coast, according to AccuWeater forecasters.
“A coastal inundation of 2-4 feet is likely on the barrier islands of eastern North Carolina,” according to AccuWeather Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski.
At this level, low-lying roads and bridges on the islands will take on water. There would be no way to get people off the islands should there be an emergency.
“Waters are likely to rise to about 2 feet above astronomical tide levels in southeastern Virginia, with minor coastal flooding likely,” Kottlowski said.
The storm is not expected to affect Saturday’s big college football matchup between Clemons and Virginia Tech. The forecast for Blacksburg, VA, for Saturday is sunny with a high of 64 and a low of 44. ESPN’s College Game Day will be in Blacksburg for the game.
Some beach erosion will occur along much of the U.S. Atlantic coast with Maria just offshore through this week.
A general 2 to 4 inches of rain may fall across the Outer Banks, which will be enough to cause water to collect in urban areas that drain poorly, including N.C. Highway 12.