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‘Hazardous’ cliffs created by erosion on NC island beaches could worsen

A cliff formed by erosion on the beach between off-road vehicle ramps 2 and 4 on Bodie Island – also known as Coquina Beach.
A cliff formed by erosion on the beach between off-road vehicle ramps 2 and 4 on Bodie Island – also known as Coquina Beach. Cape Hatteras National Seashore

Chunks of beach on one North Carolina island have been swept away by rough ocean conditions, leaving cliffs in its wake.

On Bodie Island – known for the famous black and white striped lighthouse – cliffs have formed on beaches and could worsen, according to the Cape Hatteras National Seashore.

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The National Seashore shared a photo on Facebook on Friday of the beach between off-road vehicle ramps 2 and 4 – also known as Coquina Beach.

The sheer drop into the white-frothed ocean “is creating hazardous conditions for beach driving and walking” and there’s another area of concern at ramp 25, according to the post.

The cliffs are forming as the beach is eroded away by an ocean reaching further inland because of weather conditions, according to national seashore officials.

In another post on Friday, seashore officials said “bad weather” was on the way to eastern North Carolina as a nor’easter moved in, which led to heavy rain, wind gusts up to 40 mph and “gale warnings along the coast.”

“Some off-road vehicle routes will be impassable,” the post read. “During this inclement weather period, there is a chance that some roads will have ocean over wash. Visitors are urged to stay out of the ocean until conditions improve.”

Coquina Beach “essentially goes all the way to Oregon Inlet, which is seasonally open to both vehicles and pedestrians, depending on threatened bird nesting seasons, and provides some spectacular fishing conditions. Literally located directly under the Bonner Bridge, and offering a good half mile of inlet facing beaches, it’s not unusual to spot dozens of vehicles lined up for spectacular shoreline fishing,” according to OuterBanks.com.

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