Hurricane Irene Outer Banks warning, 6 to 11 feet surge, Ocean Sound and Rain Water, Beach road and highway 158 will be under water

Hurricane Irene Outer Banks warning, 6 to 11 feet surge, Ocean Sound and Rain Water, Beach road and highway 158 will be under water

Hurricane Irene is headed straight for the Outer Banks of NC. The populated areas there are Nags Head, Kill Devil Hills, Kitty Hawk, Duck and Corolla. I have been there many times during the past 15 years and I know the area well. Some stretches of this area, surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean and large sounds are approximately 1 and a half miles wide. None of this stretch is very wide.

I just checked the latest storm surge data from The Weather Channel. They are predicting a 6 to 11 foot storm surge for this area. I next went to Google Earth to confirm my memory of the elevations. I chose a spot in front of the Wright Brothers Memorial in Kill Devil Hills. I verified the elevation of the beach road, one block back from the ocean, and Highway 158 which runs parallel to the ocean several blocks from the ocean. Here are the elevations.

Beach Road    3 feet

Highway 158   6 feet

As you can see, a 11 foot storm surge will cover these roads. If you are in a cottage between highway 158 and the ocean, you could easily be in jeopardy. One large wave could wipe out your dwelling.

I have a family member at the Outer Banks and a friend who has a family member there indicated they are going to ride it out. I hear comments from people that they have always weathered the storms. This is a once in a lifetime event. You have never experienced a hurricane like this one going directly over the Outer Banks.

Kill Devil Hills is enacting a 10PM curfew beginning tonight until whenever.

Take this storm seriously!

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