Waters of Shallowbag Bay invade Manteo on Friday afternoon.

Waters of Shallowbag Bay invade Manteo on Friday afternoon.

We’re use to high winds on the Outer Banks, but the blast that came through last night seemed to catch everyone by surprise.

As high winds go, this one topped out at 62 mph according to the National Weather Service—which for the Outer Banks isn’t even close to the strongest we’ve ever experienced.

What made this one special was how sudden it was. That and the driving rain that came with it.

The skies had been threatening all day. In fact, for most of the day, almost all of the Outer Banks was under a tornado watch. Never did get one, thankfully, but the atmosphere felt soupy and ready to explode.

By 8:45 in the evening, we had had some smattering of rain and a little wind, but nothing spectacular.

At 9:00, everything changed with the winds howling out of the west like a boxers punch. The rain driven by the winds, pounded the side of the house, In 15 minutes the worst of it was gone and by morning the skies were clearing.

High Winds Mean Soundside Flooding

But the high winds held from the west. Maybe a bit to the northwest, but winds that strong from that distance inevitably pushes the waters of the sounds to the Outer Banks.

Just about every road that runs along the sound was two to three feet under water by noon. Schools had to let out early. School busses were lucky to get through what they encountered even before the worst of the flooding hit.

On the south side of Oregon Inlet the road was closed. Overwash from Pamlico Sound made NC 12 impassable. Manteo had water in its streets, although thankfully it didn’t seem to get into the buildings. Colington Island became a true island with Colington road impassable even for 4WD vehicles.

If there is a blessing in all of this, wind driven flooding like this goes away as quickly as it comes on and by the evening there was hardly any evidence that water had been everywhere.

There’s always and adventure to be had on the Outer Banks. Come stay with us at Brindley Beach Vacations for a while and explore life on a sandbar.