Residents and visitors along North Carolina's Outer Banks are still dealing with lingering effects from the storm system that brought severe storms and snow to parts of the state Monday.

What You Need To Know

  • The NCDOT reports Monday morning's high tide breached N.C. Highway 12 near Rodanthe

  • Another section of the highway on Ocracoke Island was also closed due to ocean overwash, but has since reopened

  • High tides, winter storms and tropical systems often cause closures along the vital link to the Outer Banks

The storm that is now far offshore, combined with lunar tide cycles, is causing higher than normal tides along the state's coast. 

The North Carolina Department of Transportation reported on social media that Tuesday morning's high tide breached a section of Highway 12 at Mirlo Beach in Rodanthe.

Ocean overwash also closed a section of the highway on Ocracoke Island.

Road crews were able to reopen that section by late morning, and ferry service between Ocracoke and Hatteras has resumed.

Near Rodanthe, the tide has receded from earlier in the morning. The NCDOT says they are working to repair the protective sand dune and hope to have all of N.C. 12 open in the afternoon.

The NCDOT has long battled high tides, winter storms and tropical systems to keep Highway 12 open.

The road is a vital link for the residents that live along the barrier islands and the businesses that depend on tourists visiting the Outer Banks.

A new bridge is slated to open in 2022 around the section of road that was breached near Rodanthe Tuesday morning.

Construction of the "Jug Handle Bridge" near Rodanthe. (NCDOT photo)

Mirlo Beach, or the Rodanthe "S Curves," is just one of seven hot spots that can become overwashed by the ocean or sound during storms and high tides.

(NCDOT graphic)

Coastal geologists say more hot spots could develop in the future.

In an interview last year, Tony Rodriguez with UNC's Institute of Marine Sciences says a warming climate will cause more problems. He said, "We’ll probably have higher sea levels more frequently or even stronger storms. So, all of that will make the process of overwashing the barriers happen more frequently and probably to a greater extent."

A task force was formed last year to develop a long-term plan for Highway 12. The group consists of federal, state and local agencies.