While we slept, the snow piled up on the Outer Banks

By on January 18, 2018

Videos by Sam Walker, The Outer Banks Voice

U.S. 158 and 3rd Street in KDH at 4:25 p.m. (NCDOT)

A little behind schedule, an overnight storm delivered more than promised — between 7 and 10 inches of snow that covered primary and secondary roads on the Outer Banks and many inland areas at daybreak.

U.S. 158 was virtually deserted this morning. Schools were closed and government offices that planned to open later than usual shut down for the day.

Lt. John Towler of the Kill Devil Hills Police Department reported at 4 p.m. that road conditions were improving “with the major thoroughfares of U.S. 158 (Croatan Highway) and N.C. 12 (Virginia Dare Trail/Beach Road) having lost most of the ice and snow cover from this morning.

“There are still patches of ice, and the Department urges you to remain alert and to continue to allow for extra time and space between yourself and other motorists as well as time to slow, turn and stop.”

One death has been attributed to the winter storm in North Carolina, when 26-year-old Lee Norman of Plymouth died Thursday morning lost control of his minivan and overturned into a canal at the corner of Newland and B Canal roads outside Roper.

The Highway Patrol reports nearly 2,700 traffic accidents from Tuesday night through 3 p.m. Thursday, and more than 4,220 calls for service, many of those coming after daybreak Thursday morning.

The most serious weather-related crash on the Outer Banks was in Duck, involving a vehicle rolling over on N.C. 12 near Sanderling. No injuries were reported.

Another night of below freezing temperatures will likely cause continuing hazardous travel conditions, Governor Roy Cooper warned at a news conference Thursday afternoon.

“I know I sound like a broken record, but it’s important to stay off the roads unless it’s absolutely necessary to drive,” Gov. Cooper said. “DOT crews are working hard to clear the roads as quickly as possible and State Highway Patrol are focused on keeping North Carolinians safe. Less traffic means they can do their jobs more easily and get our state back up and running.”

NCDOT has nearly 2,400 employees with almost 1,700 trucks and graders clearing roads across the state, with assistance from more than 700 contractor trucks.

Crews will work into the night, but in areas where it becomes too cold to effectively plow, workers who have been working since last night will head home to rest and other crews will work to put more salt on the roads to get them ready to plow first thing tomorrow morning when the main crews return.

So far, workers have placed about 44,000 tons of salt, more than 6,800 tons of a salt/sand mix and more than 985,000 gallons of brine on state roadways.

The highest snowfall amount was reported in Southern Shores, where 9.9 inches accumulated, and 9 inches was found in Kitty Hawk.

Roanoke Island recorded 7.5 inches, according to the National Weather Service, while 7 inches fell at the Wright Brothers National Memorial. One report from Rodanthe had accumulation reaching 6 inches.

It was the second big snowstorm of the year — at least by Outer Banks standards — but this time, a warmup and melt will arrive much quicker.

Remnants of the storm two weeks ago lingered for at least four days.

Temperatures are forecast to drop to sub-freezing tonight but will be followed by sunny days in the 50s.

The snow started along the coast near midnight, with forecasters projecting accumulation of an inch per hour.

While inland areas were seeing snow earlier, the Outer Banks was getting light doses of drizzle and flurries. Snow was covering roads in Currituck County long before midnight.

The storm was actually two in one. A cold front brought the first wave inland — Raleigh and Charlotte received a decent dose — then an offshore low-pressure system threw lots of moisture from the ocean into the cold air, delivering a healthy coastal snowstorm with stiff winds.

Six inches of snow were measured in Corolla on the Currituck Outer Banks with 5 inches in Grandy midway up the Currituck mainland, according to the National Weather Service Office in Wakefield.

Forecasts had projected 2 to 4 inches in the region.

Snow Day! ❄️❄️🌞☃️🏃‍♀️ #obx #snobx #corolla #snow

A post shared by Wendy Patterson (@wendypatterson64) on

Lileigh and Noah Hennessey get a push from dad, Tim, as they sled down a snow-covered Jockey’s Ridge.

Riding the snow dunes in Hatteras.

@WITN says OBX snow reports are false? huh?? #snowbx #beach104

A post shared by Michael Smith (@radiomoose) on

Rough conditions at the U.S. 158/N.C. 12 intersection in Kitty Hawk this morning.

We’ll take one more snowday! #snobx

A post shared by Kate Harvey (@candyandcorks) on

#Beachroad #NagsHead #OBX #OuterBanks #SnOBX #SnOBX2 #SnOBX2018

A post shared by DareDevilsPizzeria (@daredevilspizzeria) on

I love it ❄️🐾🐰10 inches! #cocoshultz #corgisofinstagram #snOBX

A post shared by Vickie Shultz (@vickieshultz) on

We’ll be continuously updating this story.

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  • Michael

    A lot more than just 3 inches in Manteo

    Thursday, Jan 18 @ 8:48 am
  • Runnerguy45

    Kitty Hawk has at least 5 inches

    Thursday, Jan 18 @ 9:07 am
  • Lisa Whitley

    10 inches in our yard

    Thursday, Jan 18 @ 9:25 am
  • Will

    6 inches in currituck.

    Thursday, Jan 18 @ 10:22 am
  • Runnerguy45

    Kitty Hawk got at least 5 inches.

    Thursday, Jan 18 @ 11:49 am
  • Todd G

    5″? Laughing at 5″! I went out and measured my back yard here in lower Currituck. 9-9.5″ in about 6 different areas in my yard and none were because of drifting. I am not counting the few areas of 12″-14″ that were probably due to some drifting. And that was around 12:00 today. I can see where the snow has gone down a few good inches in spots since first thing this morning. The weather service pre and post estimates are crap!!! Seriously bad! Maybe they just choose not to make their selves look to bad by reporting well under what we really got. I need a job where I can be wrong more than I am right and able to keep said job.

    Thursday, Jan 18 @ 12:29 pm
  • Bud

    Lots of fun driving around this morning! Amazing how the the road is clear and dry by late afternoon.

    Thursday, Jan 18 @ 3:19 pm
  • Karen Collis

    Lived on Outer Banks years ago for almost 20 years, saw snow 1 time and was very cold for several days..miss my obx😫

    Friday, Jan 19 @ 5:00 pm