Kitty Hawk Pier at low tide, Thursday morning.

As Hurricane Florence spins off the southern cost of North Carolina, the effects spread across the all of the state’s coastline.

The full effect of the storm will be felt in the Wilmington area, but even here on the Outer Banks the wind and rain will be fierce. 

There is really no reason to go out—grocery stores are closed and restaurants shuttered. But as the wind and rain builds, it is certainly best to stay in place.

If the forecast holds, and so far the National Hurricane Center has had a very good handle on Florence, tomorrow will be the worst of it, although as the the storm tracks south and west, the forecast has improved for the northern Outer Banks.

There is still going to be ocean overwash in some areas. Beach nourishment does a great job to a point, but when the storm surge overtops the dunes, there will be water on some of the roads. Much less than what he have had in the past, but it will still be there.

Hatteras Island is isolated at this point and it will probably stay that way until sometime low tide Saturday afternoon or Sunday. NCDOT reported the ocean breached the dunes at the S curves just north of Rodanthe.

That is the area where the next major project bridge project is just beginning. The Jug Handle, a curved bridge that will extend into Pamlico Sound and then reconnect with the road at Rodanthe is being built. NCDOT and the Southern Environmental Law Center—who sued  the state for years over the Bonner Bridge replacement—have determined that is the most cost effective and environmentally sound solution to keep the road open.

Florence is a slow moving storm, so Saturday looks to be a wash. Sunday looks better. We're hopeful the madatory evaucation order will be lifted soon, but please be aware that the decision to lift the mandatory evacuation order will be made by emergency personnel and county officials when they feel it is safe for visitors to come to the Outer Banks. Check local news and county websites for current information on the status of the mandatory evacuation order.