7/21/22: EMERGENCY: MAJOR SECTION OF OCEAN BLVD. (N.C. 12) CLOSED DUE TO WATER MAIN BREAK; REPAIR ONGOING. (UPDATES TO BE POSTED HERE.)

Flooding this morning on Ocean Boulevard near the Duck Road split, caused by a water main break. (Photo submitted by Gray Berryman to OBX Locals Facebook page.)

Ocean Boulevard (N.C. Hwy. 12) is closed from the U.S. Hwy. 158-N.C. 12 intersection north to East Dogwood Trail this morning because of a water main break, the Town of Southern Shores has announced. The break occurred in the vicinity of 130 Ocean Blvd., according to the Town.

The Dare County Water Dept. announced the water break around 8 a.m. and said it affects Southern Shores, Duck, and Martin’s Point. Crews are working on repairing the break, whose cause is unknown at this time. Dare is urging people to conserve water.

We just received a Public Safety Alert from Dare County Emergency Management announcing that heavy traffic backups on “alternate roads” are causing delays. You can expect significant residential cut-through traffic from U.S. Hwy. 158/South Dogwood Trail and Duck Road until Ocean Boulevard has reopened.

Please feel free to update this announcement with any relevant information you may have. We are heading out to take a look now. Thank you.

***

11 a.m. UPDATE: During our scouting, we observed a steady, bumper-to-bumper flow of northbound traffic on South Dogwood Trail to East Dogwood Trail and then to Hickory Trail. Although there was an orange detour sign at the South-East Dogwood Trail intersection, directing people to turn right, there was no detour sign indicating a left turn on Hickory Trail, nor did we see any police officers in this area or farther east on East Dogwood Trail. The southbound traffic through this area was staggered and moving well.

LIGHTNING STRIKE: Neither Dare County nor Southern Shores has announced an official cause of the water main break. Lisa Pair Walters of Kill Devil Hills reported on the OBX Locals Facebook page that a lightning strike caused the break and said she confirmed this with police. Linda Palombo, of 159 Duck Road in Southern Shores, said on Facebook that she “heard it when it hit.” Southern Shores experienced a severe storm this morning that towns to the south did not.

Dare County reports that a “water conservation notice” is in effect “until further notice” for customers in Southern Shores, Duck, and Martin’s Point.

***

NOON UPDATE: Northbound bumper-to-bumper traffic continues unabated on the South Dogwood Trail-East Dogwood Trail-Hickory Trail cut-through route, while southbound traffic traveling from East Dogwood Trail or Hickory Trail to South Dogwood Trail has picked up in volume. We have to wonder where everyone is coming from and going to on such a beautiful beach day when, by now, official and unofficial notice of the Hwy. 12 closure should have circulated.

A 12:18 p.m. ALERT from Dare County Emergency Management continues the water conservation notice and assures the public that the water in Southern Shores, Duck, and Martin’s Point is safe to drink.

We are hearing reports of oversized commercial trucks and tractor-trailers traveling on South Dogwood Trail and other residential roads. We do not believe the temporary closure of N.C. 12 justifies suspension of the Town’s gross weight limit of 10,000 pounds for through trucks (Town Code sec. 20-115) on Town-maintained roads. If police are knowingly permitting oversized trucks to travel on the residential roads, they are doing the Town a disservice. These truck drivers should wait until N.C. 12 reopens before they continue north.

3:30 p.m.: The Southern Shores Police Dept. has announced that the closed portion of N.C. Hwy 12 will reopen around 6 p.m.

Please see our subsequent post for more details about the road’s reopening and repair.

THE SOUTHERN SHORES BEACON

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