Waves from Tropical Storm Maria batter Avalon Pier in Kill Devil Hills.

Goodbye and good riddance to Tropical Storm Maria. As predicted, Tuesday and Wednesday were not very pleasant days—very windy with occasional rain. However, a tropical systems go, not that bad.

Although, displaying a fickly nature, she did take her good old time about moving out to sea. She has finally made the predicted sharp turn to the northeast and is rapidly accelerating to the open waters of the Atlantic.

She did bring some rough surf, though. With strong winds from the northeast, there was nothing for surfers to ride, just 12-14’ waves and the first real test of beach nourishment.

The northern Outer Banks seemed to get off pretty easy. There was a little bit of overwash by the Black Pelican in Kitty Hawk. However, that strip of beach is the last area that will be nourished, so the minimal overwash seen there seems to be good news.

Other than that, the nourished beaches stretching from Nags Head to Duck seemed to perform as advertised.

We haven’t gotten any reports yet from Buxton, where the County has a major project nourishment project, but if the performance along the northern shoreline is any indication, it should protect the homes and businesses on the north end of the town.

The one area that where there does not seem to be an easy solution is at the S Curves north of Rodanthe. As expected the overwash there was severe enough to make the road impassable. 

The same reason the S Curves are considered one of the premier spots for surfing on the East Coast is the same reason the dunes are continually breached there. Offshore shoals focus wave energy into that strip of sand, creating larger, more powerful waves.

NCDOT has plans on the books to bypass the S Curves with a jug handle bridge, but construction is not scheduled to begin of another year.