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Even off coast, Sandy soaks ENC

By WCTI Staff
Published On: Oct 27 2012 05:43:32 AM CDT
Updated On: Oct 29 2012 07:37:01 AM CDT

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Even though the storm passed far off the North Carolina coast, Hurricane Sandy had drenching effects on the eastern part of the state over the weekend.

Now, Sandy is set to make landfall in the Atlantic Northeast. From Washington to Boston, big cities and small towns Sunday buttoned up against the onslaught of a superstorm that could endanger 50 million people in the most heavily populated corridor in the nation, with forecasters warning that New York could get slammed by a wall of water.

In North Carolina, the storm soaked the eastern portion of the state through consistent rain and a storm surge that pushed ocean and river water onto land.

Long portions of the barrier island beach road between Nags Head and Duck were covered in rain, sea water and sand. Several homes and businesses on Ocracoke Island, accessible only by boat, were threatened by a flood of more than 18 inches of water rising out of the sea, Hyde County officials said.

About five inches of rain fell at Hatteras Village during a 24-hour period ending at 2 p.m. Sunday, the National Weather Service reported. On the oceanfront, the state Department of Transportation reported sustained winds of 50 mph. The greatest impacts from the ocean were expected with high tide Monday morning.

Further inland in Craven County, storm surge put New Bern's Union Point Park completely under water. Areas of Brices Creek were also threatened by rising water.

Streets and docks in the Pamlico County town of Oriental were covered in several inches of water. Dawson's Creek levels went up and water covered several docks and small piers along the banks.

Sandy wasn't without its wind effects. In Carteret County, a viewer sent in a report of sailboats that washed up on Carrot Island off of Beaufort. Another report came in of a fully-submerged boat at Bogue Sound near Pine Knoll Shores. Another viewer submitted a photo of a light post snapped in half at Blair Farms in Morehead City.

Scroll through our live blog as we tracked Sandy off the NC coast throughout the weekend.

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8:56 p.m. Sunday: Take at look at the most recent forecast track for Hurricane Sandy. The storm is expected to take a turn west and take a direct path at southern New Jersey.

6:42 p.m. Sunday: This photo sent to us by Stephanie McInnis shows what is supposed to be Highway 12 heading to Cedar Island.

6:15 p.m. Sunday: Looking ahead to this evening and into tonight, Sandy will continue to move off the coast pulling rain into the northern counties. Wind will continue to blow across the region, beginning to shift northwesterly. This wind will begin to pull waters out of the eastern side of Pamlico Sound and towards the outer banks and down east Carteret County. Low of 40.

4:45 p.m. Sunday: William Smith sent us this photo he said was taken from Atlantic Harbor.

4:10 p.m. Sunday: Take a look at the storm surge graphic, as it shows the effects of Hurricane Sandy felt on a massive portion of the East Coast.

3:56 p.m. Sunday: The effects of Hurricane Sandy are being felt far to our north. The subway in the city that never sleeps will shut down Sunday night as officials brace for the impact of the storm. New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority will suspend subway service at 7 p.m. Sunday. READ MORE

3:42 p.m. Sunday: Tim Tucker sent us this photo, writing that this is one of two sailboats that washed up on Carrot Island off of Beaufort.

3:31 p.m. Sunday: Convenience stores, breakfast restaurants and gas stations on North Carolina's Outer Banks opened for business as usual Sunday as Hurricane Sandy chugged off the coast with high winds and tides that threatened the barrier islands for days.

Sandy was a Category 1 storm packing 75 mph winds about 250 miles southeast of Cape Hatteras, and moving northeast at 14 mph as of 11 a.m. Sunday, according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami.

There was scattered flooding on the barrier island beach road in Nags Head early Sunday, with the worst of the storm expected to be felt later in the day and on Monday. Rain fell but gusty winds were barely half the 75 mph sustained winds reported near the center of Sandy, still hundreds of miles away. READ MORE

3:20 p.m. Sunday: The town of Emerald Isle has released the following statement:

The center of Hurricane Sandy is currently located well offshore, approximately 325 miles east-southeast of Emerald Isle. Sandy continues on a path away from Emerald Isle, and should completely clear our area later tonight or Monday.

Thankfully, Emerald Isle has experienced only relatively minor impacts from Sandy. There does not appear to be any visible damage to homes or structures. Rainfall totals are in the 2 - 3 inch range (depending on your location in Emerald Isle) and the maximum gusts recorded at Fire Stations 1 and 2 were 46 mph and 43 mph, respectively. Current radar suggests that the rain will end soon in Emerald Isle as Sandy continues to move northeast away from Emerald Isle.

Water levels remain high in Bogue Sound, with water reaching the decking of most docks, however, no widespread dock damage has been observed. Beach strand observations at 6 locations did not reveal any significant dune erosion, however, the flat beach profile is flattened to some degree. A more comprehensive assessment of the beach strand will be made on Monday or Tuesday when surf conditions return to normal.

3:18 p.m. Sunday: Craven County is on a Flood Warning until 11:14 p.m. Sunday. Heavy rain from tropical cyclone Sandy will result in localized poor drainage flooding over eastern North Carolina this afternoon through Sunday night. The flood threat will lessen as heavy rain tapers off on Monday.

2:57 p.m. Sunday: We just got word that Pamlico and Craven schools are on a 2-hour delay for Monday. Carteret County is on a delay, but with some exceptions. See all community closings and delays HERE.

2:15 p.m. Sunday: We just received this report of flooded areas in Carteret County:

Downeast Carteret County along Pamlico Sound: should prepare for inundation of 3 to 5 feet above ground level highest in small narrow creeks off the sound. Portsmouth Island should prepare for 4 to 6 feet of inundation above ground level.

Core Sound into Harkers Island and Beaufort:  Core Sound should prepare for 2 to 4 feet of inundation with 1 to 2 feet above ground level possible into Harkers Island and Beaufort.

• Bogue Sound:  Prepare for inundation of around 1 foot above ground level on Bogue Banks from Atlantic Beach too Emerald Isle and into Swansboro.

1:40 p.m. Sunday: This photo was submitted by Ricky Nelson from Stacy this morning. Nelson writes, "Our church was flooded in both Hurricane Isabel and Irene, but it looks like it will survive Sandy as the water level is approximately 5 feet above normal. In Stacy, residential flooding starts at about 6.5 feet above normal."

1:20 p.m. Sunday: Data from NOAA and Air Force Reserve hurricane hunter aircraft this morning have revealed no significant changes to the intensity or overall structure of Hurricane Sandy, even though satellite imagery indicates a banding eye feature is trying to form and the central pressure has been as low as 951 mb. The wind field has continued to expand. There have been some track wobbles, but here remains no significant change to the previous forecast track or reasoning. Sandy will continue to interact with a strong negatively tilted shortwave trough located over the Tennessee Valley that will continue to moved eastward toward the U.S. East Coast over the next 48 hours. As the trough undercuts Sandy to its south, the hurricane is expected to lift northeastward and then northward over the next 24 hours, followed by a turn to the northwest and possibly west-northwest until landfall occurs within 48 hours or so. The official forecast track is similar to the previous advisory track and lies down the middle of the tightly packed global and regional model guidance.

See below the current forecast track for Sandy.

1:01 p.m. Sunday: The rising water makes the woodwork at the Oriental Plantation Subdivision docks on Smith Creek in this photo sent to us by Ashley Erwin.

12:55 p.m. Sunday: Pamlico County Manager Tim Buck says flooding in the county is so far minor from the rain brought by Hurricane Sandy and associated storm surge. The shelter at Pamlico County Community College remains open, but it is expected to close soon. The shelter served about 30 people Saturday night.

11:28 a.m. Sunday: A viewer sent this photo of a light post snapped in half at Blair Farms in Morehead City.

downed light post

11:13 a.m. Sunday: The largest mass transit system in the nation was ordered to suspend operations, as Hurricane Sandy approached. New York City was scheduled to halt all bus, subway and commuter rail services Sunday night, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. Read more here.

11:04 a.m. Sunday: According to the Carteret County Department of Emergency Management, there was flooding at South River Saturday night. In addition, roads were overwashed at the town of Sea Level. Meanwhile, a viewer sent these photos of waves crashing the Bogue Inlet Pier at Emerald Isle.

Bogue Inlet pier at EI

Bogue Inlet piere at EI 2

Chris Bailey sent this photo of flooding at Brices's Creek in Craven County.

Brice's Creek

10:18 a.m. Sunday: N.C. 12 in Dare County, from south of the Oregon Inlet Bridge to Rodanthe, remained closed Sunday morning, according to the North Department Department of Transporation. There were reports of overwash on N.C. 12 in Kill Devil Hills and Kitty Hawk, as well as flooding in Rodanthe.

Additional overwash had been reported at areas further south, the NCDOT announced. In Hatteras, overwash had been reported at Buxton and north of Hatteras Village. Flooding was also reported at the village of Ocracoke.

Crews were surveying damage, but deteriorating conditions made assessment difficult, according to the NCDOT. There was a high chance that more water and sand would get on N.C. 12 during the evening hours, especially at high tide.

On Saturday night, the NCDOT's Ferry Division suspended all ferry operations because of rough weather. On Sunday morning, the Southport-Fort Fisher route resumed normal operations. All other routes remained suspended until conditions improve.

For more travel information, call 511, or visit www.ncdot.gov/travel.

10:03 a.m. Sunday: Amanda Sullivan sent theses photos of the pier at Atlantic beach, taken Saturday. To see the rest of her pictures, check out her public Facebook album.

atlantic beach pier 3

atlantic beach pier

9:32 a.m. Sunday: Jim Stanton sent this photo of an almost fully-submerged boat at Bogue Sound, looking north from Pine Knoll Shores in Carteret County. The craft was moored at Oakleaf Drive.

Bogue Sounde boat sunk

Megan Johnson sent this photo of waves at the Oceanana Family Resort in Atlantic Beach, Carteret County.

Oceanana Family Resort, Atlantic Beach

Allan Libby sent this photo of waves crashing the pier at Surf City at 8 a.m. Sunday. Libby said wind gusts reached as high as 45 mph overnight.

Surf City

8:54 a.m. Sunday: The Carteret County Department of Emergency Management is advising residents to prepare for sustained winds of 35 to 45 mph, with gusts of 55 to 65 mph.  Farther inland, residents should be prepared for sustained winds of 30 to 35 mph, with gusts 40 to 50 mph.

Breaking waves, with dangerous rip currents, are expected to increase to 10 to 15 feet north of Cape Lookout Sunday, said Deputy Emergency Services Director Jo Ann Specer. Waves are expect to increase to 6 to 10 feet south of Cape Lookout, making swimming dangerous.

  • There is a flood watch in effect through Monday morning for areas east of Highway 17 in Carteret County, Spencer said.

  • Along the coast east of Highway 17, residents should expect five to eight inches of rain, with up to 10 inches in some locations.

  • At areas  more inland, west of Highway 17, residents can expect two to five inches of rain.

  • At Down East Carteret County, along Pamlico Sound, residents should prepare for three to five feet of flooding, Spencer said.

  • At Core Sound, residents should prepare for one to two feet of flooding, which could spread to Harkers Island and Beaufort.

  • At Bogue Sound, residents should prepare for one foot of flooding on Bogue Banks, from Atlantic Beach to Emerald Isle and into Swansboro.

Atlantic Elementary was opened as a shelter Saturday night at 6 p.m.  It is being staffed by Sea Level Fire & EMS and the Carteret County Salvation Army.  If visiting the shelter, individuals are encouraged take their own shelter kit and supplies.

Follow the Carteret County Department of Emergency on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/carteretems for updates.

8:18 a.m. Sunday: Steph Barnett sent these photos of Dawson Creek in Pamlico County, showing a dock partially submerged in water.

Dawson Creek

Dawson creek 2

7:20 a.m. Sunday: These are picture of Oaks Road, going into National Avenue in New Bern. The were about two to three feet of standing water at some parts. The section of Oaks Road was blocked off, as well as the entrance into Union Park.

oaks road flood 3

oaks road flood 2

oaks road flood 1

5:52 a.m. Sunday: The National Weather Service issued a coastal flood warning for The Outer Banks, Currituck and the Virginia Beach area. The flood warning will remain in effect until midnight Monday.

Meanwhile, two to three feet of standing water were on Oaks Road, right before going into National Avenue in New Bern. A road block was set up there.

Progress Energy, which had reported 82 Outages in Havelock, was reporting zero outages there as of 5:52 a.m.

5:34 a.m. Sunday: According to the Highway Patrol, NC 12 near the Oregon Inlet Bridge in Dare County, along with the bridge itself, were both closed as of Sunday morning. No other major road closures were reported.

4:48 a.m. Sunday: The Jones-Onslow Electric Membership Cooperative, which previously reported 477 outages, was reporting no outages as of 4:48 a.m.

4:12 a.m. Sunday: No bridges were closed in Carteret County as of 4:12 a.m., according to the Highway Patrol.  However, the Oregon Inlet Bridge in Dare County was shut down.

3:52 a.m. Sunday: The Jones-Onslow Electric Membership Cooperative was reporting 477 outages in Jones County. Progress Energy was reporting 82 outages in Havelock.

3:25 a.m. Sunday: Progress Energy was reporting 61 power outages in Beaufort as of 3:04 a.m. According to Progress Energy, the rest of Carteret County had four outages. Winds and rain were expected to pick up until noon.

12:30 a.m. Sunday: Dale Hayes sent us a this photo of his neighbor's dock underwater, at Dawson Creek in Pamlico County.

Pamlico County Dawson Creek dock

11:07 p.m. Saturday: Looking ahead to Sunday, the rain and wind will continue as Sandy tracks past our coast.  It will move on a northerly track still a few hundred miles to the east of our area.  Highs tomorrow will be mild.  The mainland will be in the low to mid 60s.  The beaches will be in the upper 60s to the low 70s.

10:28 p.m. Saturday: Sandy is starting to lose some of its tropical characteristics.  There is cold air being filtered into the storm.  Hurricane Sandy was located about 350 miles south of Buxton or about 320 miles south-southeast of Morehead City.  The storm is moving northeast at 13 mph and has maximum sustained winds of 75 mph.  It is expected to move northeast and remain offshore of the North Carolina Coast this weekend.  Despite remaining offshore, it will result in significant impact along Coastal North Carolina.  It make a northerly turn Sunday evening and on Monday head back to the west making landfall and as a strong nor’easter.  Our weather on Monday depends on how far north Sandy makes landfall.  If it makes landfall well north of us, we can expect conditions to start to clear out late Sunday night/early Monday morning.  If it makes landfall a little farther south closer to our borders, we will be dealing with the rain and wind through the day on Monday.  Areas north of Highway 70 will still be dealing with showers from Sandy on Tuesday.

8:51 p.m. Saturday: Satellite imagery shows that dry mid-level air has wrapped around the western and southwestern portions of the circulation, which may have caused the recent weakening of the inner-core convection. The Air force aircraft made its final pass through Sandy and reported a minimum pressure of around 961 MB. Wind data from the aircraft and a recent dropsonde from the NOAA G-IV aircraft conducting a surveillance mission around Sandy support maintaining the initial intensity of 65 kt.

There has been no change to the track or intensity forecast reasoning. Sandy is likely to remain at or near hurricane strength during the next day or so. After that time, the cyclone will interact with a strong shortwave trough and associated cold front moving into the eastern United States. As this occurs, the global models indicate that the cyclone will strengthen due to baroclinic processes, and the official forecast calls for some increase in intensity in a couple of days. By 48 hours, the GFS and ECMWF models show colder air wrapping around the south portion of the circulation and sandy is likely to have completed its transformation to a vigorous extratropical cyclone at that time. After landfall, the cyclone is forecast to steadily weaken.

7:51 p.m. Saturday: Large waves generated by Hurricane Sandy crash into Jeanette's Pier in Nags Head, N.C., Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012 as the storm moves up the east coast. Hurricane Sandy, upgraded again Saturday just hours after forecasters said it had weakened to a tropical storm, was barreling north from the Caribbean and was expected to make landfall early Tuesday near the Delaware coast, then hit two winter weather systems as it moves inland, creating a hybrid monster storm.


(AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

6:56 p.m. Saturday: The rain expected from Hurricane Sandy didn’t stop this hoard of Pirate fans from going to Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium to support the East Carolina University football team in a Military Appreciation Game against the Navy Midshipmen. The Middies won the game, 56-28.

5:38 p.m. Saturday: This satellite image of Hurricane Sandy shows the storm's cloud cover engulfing nearly the entire East Coast.

5:12 p.m. Saturday: Mary Hynes just sent us these two photos from Oriental, NC.

5:02 p.m. Saturday: The Swan Quarter, Cedar Island-Ocracoke, Hatteras-Ocracoke and Currituck-Knotts Island ferries have stopped all operations. The Cherry Branch-Minnesott Beach ferry is currently operating on a normal schedule, but will likely suspend operations as conditions continue to deteriorate. The Southport-Fort Fisher and Bayview-Aurora routes will maintain normal operations as long as possible.

4:46 p.m. Saturday: Jessica Anderson sent this photo, and writes: "Dawsons Creek area in Arapahoe, NC. Dock is going missing."

4:30 p.m. Saturday: Tori Shaw just recorded a video forecast with the newest information on Hurricane Sandy. VIEW HERE

3:58 p.m. Saturday: The majority of Eastern Carolina is already starting to experience the beginning effects of Sandy as she moves her way closer to NC. Though the storm will be passing us 200-300 miles off our coast, tropical storm warning and flood watch is and will continue to be in an effect for ENC. East of Highway 17 could see as much as 8" of rain and winds substained at 50mph to gust into the 70mph range. Areas in between Highway 11 and 17, should expect 3-6" of rain with 40mph substained winds and gust up to 55mph. Between Highway 258 and 11, you could expect 30mph substained winds with gusted up to 40mph and rainfall amounts up to 4". Parts east of Highway 258, people should expect 1-2" of rain and 25 mph gusting up to 35mph.

3:19 p.m. Saturday: This photo was just sent to us by Wendy Cordier. She says it was taken at the mouth of the South River around 2:30 p.m.

3:09 p.m. Saturday: A satellite image of Sandy is shown at the National Hurricane Center in Miami ...

3:02 p.m. Saturday: Shop owners north of NC are having their windows boarded today in anticipation of Hurricane Sandy's arrival.

A worker boards up the windows of the store as Hurricane Sandy approaches in Ocean City, Md., on Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012. Hurricane Sandy upgraded again Saturday just hours after forecasters said it had weakened to a tropical storm was barreling north from the Caribbean and was expected to make landfall early Tuesday near the Delaware coast, then hit two winter weather systems as it moves inland, creating a hybrid monster storm. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

2:36 p.m. Saturday: The Federal Emergency Management Agency offers tips on how to prepare for Hurricane Sandy and other tropical storms. Sandy is expected to be especially disastrous when it merges with a winter storm system, bringing powerful winds, rain, snow and storm surge along the Eastern Seaboard.

2:33 p.m. Saturday: Visitors to North Carolina have various views of Hurricane Sandy. Read this story to find out who stayed and who left.

2:05 p.m. Saturday: We are just being informed that Lawson Creek in Craven County is flooded.

1:15 p.m. Saturday: Pamlico County is urging residents in low lying areas to voluntarily evacuate due to Hurricane Sandy. An emergency shelter is set to open at the Pamlico Community College starting at 6 p.m. Anyone with questions is asked to call 252-745-3861.

11:43 a.m. Saturday: The North Carolina Department of Transportation's Ferry Division has suspended operations on the Hatteras Inlet route due to high water over N.C. 12 in Hatteras. READ MORE HERE

11:30 a.m. Saturday: Hurricane Sandy is still centered off the coast of Florida. But the storm is so physically wide, that bands of precipitation and wind will be rolling through our region today.

Light to moderate rainfall will begin this morning with winds picking up in the afternoon. Morning gusts of 30mph were recorded throughout eastern Carolina. Late this afternoon, gusts will be closer to 50-70mph with the worst winds in coastal areas and in the Outer Banks. Rain will also intensify this afternoon and overnight. Rainfall will be 1-2" west of highway 258, 2-4" west of highway 17, and 4-6" east of highway 17, with some beach locations seeing as much as 8" of rain.

Sound side storm surge for coastal counties is likely to occur as we go overnight tonight. Sandy will be producing fast northeasterly winds. These winds will push water down the Albermarle and Pamlico Sounds into the Neuse River and around coastal Carteret County. Highest surge values could be up to 6 feet, but most will be around the 2-4' range in the hardest hit spots.

Winds will switch from the Northeast to westerly into Sunday. This will allow coastal areas with storm surge to drain out. But in tern, surge will then roll over the Outer Banks. It is likely highway 12 will be washed out.

Temperatures will start to drop Sunday afternoon and overnight, with cold air on tap for Monday. Winds will continue to gust around 30mph through Monday. Depending on where Sandy makes landfall, rain may still fall Monday north I-70. Otherwise, expect the rain to begin to clear out of the region from the south to the north on Sunday.