UPDATED: Peak nor’easter winds arrive; expected to continue through early Sunday

Waves could be seen peaking over the sand piled at a beach access in Kill Devil Hills. [Kari Pugh photo]

The National Weather Service reported peak wind gusts of 60 mph at Oregon Inlet as of 7 p.m. Saturday evening as the powerful coastal storm slowly churning up the Atlantic continued buffeting the Outer Banks.

Forecasters said the winds will remain steady through Sunday morning before beginning to “to come down but just a tad.”

High wind, high surf and coastal flooding warnings remain in effect from the nor’easter centered off the Georgia coast as it takes makes a slow trek following the Gulf Stream through Monday.

NCDOT closed N.C. 12 from the Marc Basnight Bridge to Rodanthe at 5 p.m. Saturday due to visibility and public safety issues. Workers spend the day clearing sand from the road, and will return as soon as it’s safe to continue, transportation officials said.

High tide on Saturday night is around 10:30 p.m., and then 11 a.m. and 11 p.m. on Sunday.

Along the northern beach towns, wind and waves have increased through the day, but there were no dune breeches or overwash so far.

All ferry routes to and from Ocracoke, and the Currituck Sound route, were shutdown on Saturday due to the winds and waves.

With sustained winds of over 40 mph, and gusts up to 60 mph, expected to last through Sunday, Dominion Energy, Cape Hatteras Electric Co-op and Tideland EMC have crews staged in key locations to address possible power outages.

There is the possibility of soundside flooding from Buxton to Ocracoke, with 2 to 4 foot water rises possible along the southern Pamlico Sound.

Ocracoke residents have said so far that they have seen no soundside flooding yet, and just a few of the normal spots had standing water from moderate-to-heavy rainfall experienced on Friday and early Saturday.

Many of the creeks around Wanchese have almost no water standing in them on Saturday. [Justin Bateman photo]
While the wind has blown out the sound water on the backside of the northern beaches, don’t expect it to rush back in as winds will remain out of a northerly direction and slowly subside over the next several days.

About Sam Walker 1512 Articles
Sam Walker was news director for OBXToday.com, Beach 104, 99.1 The Sound, Big 94.5 WCMS and Z 92.3 from August 2011 to March 2022.