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Outer Banks highway under 6 inches of water, Bodie lighthouse in a lake after Michael

The historic Bodie Island Lighthouse and its light keeper’s home were surrounded by water early Friday after the passing of Tropical Storm Michael.
The historic Bodie Island Lighthouse and its light keeper’s home were surrounded by water early Friday after the passing of Tropical Storm Michael.

The only highway connecting North Carolina’s barrier islands looked more like a lake in some areas Friday morning, after the passing of Tropical Storm Michael.

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Flooding on NC Highway 12 about one mile south of Whalebone Junction in Cape Hatteras National Seashore. The water was was six inches deep at 7 a.m. Friday. National Park Service

Photos posted on Facebook also show the century-old Bodie Island Lighthouse is surrounded by a small lake — something the National Park Service fears will become increasingly common because of island erosion.

“There is still standing water on the road from sound side flooding in Waves and Salvo,” reported a the NC Department Transportation in a Facebook post. “Drivers should avoid the area until the water goes back down.”

The Dare County Sheriff’s Office said on Facebook the floodwaters first appeared late Thursday night in the section of highway on Pea Island.

Cape Hatteras National Seashore posted photos on Facebook of both lanes covered with water as far as the eye could see.

The photos were taken one mile south of Whalebone Junction, and the water was 6 inches deep, said officials in the post.

The National Park Service said some beach routes might also be impassable Friday, and park visitors were “strongly urged to stay out of the Atlantic Ocean as rip current threats remain high.”

Tropical Storm Michael brought winds in the 50 mph range, dangerous storm surge and 3 to 5 inches of rain to many communities across North Carolina on Thursday.

A few sites in the state reported 6 and even 10 inches of rain, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

Colington Island in Dare County saw flood waters reach 4 feet, prompting town officials to tell residents not to venture outdoors Friday morning until the damage had be assessed, reported the Outer Banks Voice.

Flooding prompted Kill Devil Hills to declared a state of emergency, after several parts of the down were “inundated,” officials said on Facebook. “Please stay inside,” town officials posted. “There is debris along roadways, propane tanks floating in storm water, and snakes that have come up with the sound.”

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Parts of NC 12 were erased during Hurricane Florence last month, which sent a mix of sand and ocean water across the state’s barrier islands. Repairs were completed three weeks ago.

The National Park Service has an erosion study in progress on Cape Hatteras, after discovering erosion has made the Bodie Island Lighthouse vulnerable to flooding during storms.

The study will be completed in the fall, but park officials believe the old lighthouse keeper’s home might need to be raised to save it from permanent flood damage, reported the Charlotte Observer.

Mark Price: 704-358-5245, @markprice_obs
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