KILL DEVIL HILLS (AP) — People on North Carolina’s Outer Banks are bracing for more flooding today from Hurricane Sandy.
The Category 1 hurricane brought light rain and diminishing winds to the coast, but more flooding on low-lying Hatteras and Ocracoke islands is expected with high tide.
Hyde County Emergency officials say Ocracoke was inundated by more than two feet of water in some spots. Stranded visitors and residents could not move along long stretches of 70-mile-long Hatteras Island because the main highway was covered with sand and salt water as storm-driven waves punched through protective dunes. At least one oceanfront home in Rodanthe collapsed.
In Ocracoke Village, Tommy Hutcherson — a community leader whose family has owned the Ocracoke Variety Store for 30 years — said up to three feet of water covered streets in the village.
“Mainly what I’ve seen is a lot of flooding,” he said. “We’ve got a lot of water. I mean, a lot of water.”
In Carteret County, Warren Ellis was among a group of surf fishermen trapped on an uninhabited barrier island. Ellis said they were buffeted through the night by tropical storm-force winds and rain but that everyone in the party was fine.
Ellis’ 73-year-old father, Steven, had managed to get off Portsmouth Island near Cape Hatteras by ferry Friday. But the son and his 10-foot camper got stranded when high winds and surf forced state officials to suspend ferry service Saturday. He rode out the storm inside.
“Sandy rocked us to sleep,” said Ellis, 44, of Amissville, Virginia.
In Currituck County, sheriff’s deputies reported no major damage or storm-related injuries overnight Sunday and early Monday, spokesman Rod Edwards said.
Damage assessment teams started touring the county after sunrise.
There was sporadic localized flooding in the county, but main roadways remained passable, Edwards said.
In Corolla, North Carolina 12 was clear but the 4-wheel drive beach road was not passable.
The state Transportation Department closed the bridge over Oregon Inlet because inspectors determined a loose section of railing made it unsafe for traffic.
In Buxton, an unincorporated community on Hatteras Island, Conner’s Supermarket co-owner Travis Salyers said there was no water inside his store but noted that many residents were stuck inside their homes because of mounting waters outside.
“It’s a waiting game,” he said.