Dare County Emergency Management warns of hazardous ocean conditions, potential ocean overwash due to distant Hurricane Lee

Hurricane Lee—currently a Category 3 storm that is forecast to move through the western Atlantic Ocean this week—will create hazardous conditions along all Dare County beaches over the next several days and through the weekend as it passes offshore, according to the National Weather Service’s Newport/Morehead City, N.C. office.  

Impacts to Dare County will include life-threatening rip currents as well as large breaking waves and strong shorebreak that will make ocean swimming unsafe for even the strongest swimmers. Beach erosion, coastal flooding and ocean overwash in vulnerable areas are also possible. Travel on N.C. Highway 12 on Hatteras Island may be impacted by ocean overwash, especially during periods of high tide.

Dare County Emergency Management advises residents and visitors to exercise extreme caution when visiting Dare County beaches and to stay out of the ocean due to these dangerous surf conditions, which are forecast to increase in intensity mid- to late week and continue through the weekend.

The National Weather Service has issued high surf advisories for Dare County, with 7-12 foot breaking waves expected in the surf zone. Beach erosion should be expected. Residents and visitors along vulnerable sections of the oceanfront where no protective dune structure exists—the northern end of Rodanthe in particular—should be ready to protect property and relocate before becoming surrounded by ocean water. The National Weather Service indicates that a coastal flood advisory, watch or warning may be issued later in the week.

To sign up to receive daily beach condition updates via text message, text “OBXBeachConditions” to 77295. For additional information about rip currents, red flag warnings and much more, visit www.LoveTheBeachRespectTheOcean.com.

To receive National Weather Service alerts, create an OBX Alerts user profile at OBXAlerts.com and select the National Weather Service watch and warning lists or download the FEMA mobile app and select “Dare, NC” as your primary location.

For updates regarding road conditions, please visit DriveNC.gov and follow the North Carolina Department of Transportation and NCDOT NC 12 on Facebook. The Dare County Sheriff’s Office also shares local road condition updates on their Facebook page.