KITTY HAWK, N.C. (WAVY) - People on North Carolina's Outer Banks are facing some flooding and damage from Hurricane Sandy, but emergency management officials say it could have been worse.
The flooding is due to weak dune structures and the powerful ocean surge. Highway 12, known as Ocean Road, washed out, flooding businesses and homes.
Kitty Hawk's Beach Road is crumpled up, the asphalt torn by the relentless, surging ocean waters.
"It looked like a big bomb hit and nobody could really get away from it," Kitty Hawk resident Evan Briggman said.
Briggman and Ashley Grimm stayed in Kitty Hawk during the storm.
"I look at this and it looks like absolute destruction caused by the power of the ocean," Briggan said.
Earth movers are pushing the old road aside next to what once were dunes, miles of which are gone. The sand that covered a septic system is also gone.
"It didn't go over the sand. It picked up the sand and pushed it all back. The whole dune is gone. The water started flooding, and never stopped," Briggman said.
The flooding hit all the homes and businesses along Highway 158. The ocean water flooded all lanes of the highway and traffic was rerouted.
"This looks worse than what I've seen," Kitty Hawk resident David Hoare said. "The longevity of Sandy was terrible. It's a real tough time there."
"This is what happens when you build on top of sand," Rocky Damico, who grew up in Kitty Hawk, said. "You got to respect this from the people who live down here really."
Becky Eberwein still has an ocean front home that she stayed in with her husband as Sandy hit.
"It was an experience I don't want to have again," Eberwein said. "It was scary. Waves were crashing, rocking our living room floor. I'm done staying through the storm. Next time we will take our things and run."
WAVY's Chopper 10 flew above Pea Island. It looked as though the new temporary bridge that was built after Hurricane Irene survived without damage. Dare County Emergency Management says there must be a structural examination made to the bridge. Highway 12 was again washed out in some areas. The extent of damage to the road is not known because stretches of it are under three feet of sand.
There was also a railing missing from the Bonner Bridge which will also require an inspection. The area south of the Bonner Bridge is closed to the public.
Crews with the N.C. Department of Transportation are still assessing the damage caused by the storm, and clearing sand and debris from roadways. According to a news release from NCDOT, crews are currently addressing these key areas:
U.S. 158 in Kitty Hawk
· Several large pumps were brought into Kitty Hawk and have been pumping throughout the day.
· The water level is slowly dropping.
· Local traffic is being rerouted around the area.
N.C. 12 in Kitty Hawk, Kill Devil Hills, Nags Head
· NCDOT crews are now clearing sand and debris from N.C. 12, which is known locally as the “Beach Road.” The highway is littered with pieces of homes, decks and driveways.
· Crews discovered an area where pavement and dunes have been lost on N.C. 12 north of Kitty Hawk Road in Kitty Hawk.
· Crews today conducted an on-site inspection of the Bonner Bridge, which spans Oregon Inlet and connects Hatteras Island to the mainland. The inspectors evaluated the condition of the top part of the bridge and determine how it fared during the storm.
· A scour inspection was completed this afternoon as crews were able to safely get into boats and examine the water depth around the bridge’s support columns. They will also determine how the sand under the bridge has shifted since the storm passed along the Outer Banks.
· The results from both of these inspections should be available Wednesday, Oct. 31.
· Bonner Bridge remains closed to traffic until NCDOT can reopen N.C. 12 on Pea Island.
N.C. 12 on Pea Island
· Northern Pea Island has a lot of employees and equipment working their way south moving sand and water off the highway.
· Hurricane Sandy left deep sand in areas on N.C. 12 on Pea Island from south of the Bonner Bridge to Rodanthe. Removing this sand is going to require effort with heavy equipment to clear the roadway and repair the damaged dunes. Additional equipment and crews will be brought in to help tomorrow, Wednesday, Oct. 31.
· Crews have discovered pavement damage on N.C. 12 on the south side of the temporary bridge over the Pea Island breach.
· Crews found damage to the sandbags place along N.C. 12 after Hurricane Irene hit the area last year.
· There is a significant loss of dunes and pavement damage.
· Crews arrived by Ferry this morning and are making progress on opening one lane to allow the Ferry from Hatteras to Ocracoke to begin service Wednesday, Oct. 31.
NCDOT reminds residents and visitors in these areas not to drive