Kitty Hawk Pier, Sunday October 10, tail end of the impacts of Hurricane Matthew on the Outer Banks.
Hurricane Matthew was an unpleasant and unexpected surprise. After more than a week of forecasting, collection of data and track guidance, when it came to forecasting what was going to happen on the Outer Banks, the National Weather Service and everyone else seemed to get it at most half right.
Up until the last day or so, the National Hurricane Center was remarkably accurate in their predictions, and those predictions included Matthew passing south of the Outer Banks, heading out to sea, then curling around and moving south as a very weakened system.
Up until Saturday morning that was the prediction and with that prediction we knew were were going to get a lot of rain and some strong winds—maybe even tropical storm force.
And then Matthew decided to confound everyone and track ENE almost parallel to Hatteras Island and instead of losing its strength it became an extratropical system and, although far out to sea, it still has hurricane force winds in its core.
The result was, the Outer Banks got even more rain than expected and much stronger winds–winds approaching hurricane force. We’re still trying to figure out just what those winds were, but somewhere around 65-70 seems about right and there were certainly some gusts higher than that.
Nonetheless, we seem to have come through it in pretty good shape, although Dare County officials are still assessing damage and have issued a 7:00 p.m. curfew for tonight. There is standing water everywhere, with large portions of the Beach Road impassable, and NCDOT will have to fix the road by the Black Pelican again. There was some ocean overwash and a lot of downed trees.
However, compared to what places south of us and especially what Caribbean countries went through, we seemed to have come through the experience pretty well, if a bit surprised by the impacts.