Last stretch of Outer Banks highway closed by Hurricane Florence reopens Friday

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The last stretch of N.C. 12 on the Outer Banks to be closed following Hurricane Florence will reopen early Friday morning, as will the ferry between Hatteras and Ocracoke islands.

N.C. 12 has been shut down on Ocracoke from the Pony Pen to the north end of the island after the storm washed away the protective dune and damaged about 1.5 miles of pavement. With the road impassable, the N.C. Department of Transportation also shut down the Hatteras-Ocracoke ferry.

NCDOT crews have worked to remove water, sand and debris from the road, while a contractor repaired the pavement and reconstructed the dune. The road is expected to open at 4 a.m. Friday, with the first run of the ferry from Hatteras to Ocracoke leaving a half hour later.

Storm tides also overwashed N.C. 12 in several vulnerable places on Hatteras Island on Sept. 13, even before the center of Hurricane Florence came ashore. Water and sand covered the road near Rodanthe and in Avon, Buxton and just north of Hatteras Village.

But the damage to N.C. 12 on Hatteras was less severe, and the state reopened the road the length of the island for residents and property owners on Sept. 15. The ferries between Ocracoke and Swan Quarter resumed service the next day.