Flooding impacts several coastal locations

Published: Sep. 21, 2020 at 10:27 PM EDT
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CARTERET COUNTY, N.C. (WITN) - Several areas along the coast have seen significant flooding, even though a tropical system hasn’t come through our area.

The Town of Davis in Carteret County and some locations on Highway 12 on the OBX are among those most impacted.

Flooded yards and roads aren’t anything new for residents in Davis. Samuel Willis says, “The only thing you can do is just kind of wait until the tide goes down. If you have to go through you then you have to go slow and try not to spray saltwater everywhere.”

Residents who grew up in Davis say the flooding waters now are nothing compared to the past.

Willis says, “It’s not like it’s going to be like it was during Florence where it goes down the whole Main Street. It just comes with the territory of being down here.”

But why is there flooding at all when a tropical system hasn’t been in our area since Hurricane Isaias?

Erik Heden, National Weather Service Meteorologist says, “Hurricane Teddy has produced really big waves over 18 feet at Diamond Sholes so we have large breaking waves moving in our direction. It’s been windy and that wind has been out of the same direction day after day. And the third thing, astronomical high tide. We have a period a couple of times a year where the tides are higher than normal.”

Heden says there’s been some flooding in Beaufort County and other areas, but the Outer Banks has seen the worst of it. “That’s when we talk about roads closed for multiple days. Severe beach erosion. You add the steady wind and the swell from the distant hurricane and that really made for a mess in our area.”

Heden says the National Weather Service is pushing for people to not drive in these floodwaters, but turn around and find another way. “Overall the water is not as swift but you don’t know if the road is there or not.”

Heden says the sea levels are already a little higher than what we’ve had in the past which can make this problem more difficult.

He said within the next couple days, the floodwaters will go down and the coast will see some relief.

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