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Rodanthe houses vulnerable to rough surf, high winds as Fiona passes off coast

Dare County Emergency Management Director Drew Pearson believes the waters could become more dangerous over the weekend.

RODANTHE, N.C. — Several houses in Rodanthe, North Carolina, are vulnerable to rough surf and high winds as Hurricane Fiona passes far off the coast, the National Park Service (NPS) said.

Cape Hatteras National Seashore officials want people to avoid the beach in Rodanthe due to problems with ocean overwash and beach erosion from Thursday through Friday.

But Dare County Emergency Management Director Drew Pearson believes the waters could become more dangerous over the weekend. 

Cory Walters and his family are visiting the Outer Banks from Northern Virginia. Walters said he's noticing the rough waves in the Atlantic Ocean.

“It’s picked up drastically the last couple of days. I’m not even letting the kids in the water because of how bad it’s gotten,” Walters said.

RELATED: Hurricane Fiona moves north as a powerful Category 4 storm

The warning covers a two-mile stretch of the beach, between the north end of Rodanthe and South Shore Drive. 

Officials said structures associated with some homes, including wires, pipes and septic systems could become exposed, creating a danger for people as the ocean washes over the beach.

The warning comes after previous house collapses in Rodanthe required a large clean-up response earlier this year.

RELATED: 13News Now Investigates: Beach erosion on the Outer Banks remains an expensive, long-term problem

Rodanthe, which is located on Hatteras Island, isn't the only part of the Outer Banks affected by Fiona.

In a Thursday morning alert, the NPS said ocean overwash is already causing problems for ramps on Ocracoke Island. Officials are asking people driving on the beach to use caution and avoid impassable areas until conditions improve.

Credit: Cape Hatteras National Seashore
Cape Hatteras ocean overwash from Hurricane Fiona
Credit: Cape Hatteras National Seashore
Cape Hatteras ocean overwash from Hurricane Fiona

Fiona is also producing dangerous rip currents expected to last into the weekend.

On Friday morning, officials with NCDOT confirmed that highway NC12 through the Outer Banks was still accessible.

People can sign up for beach-related weather and ocean condition alerts by texting OBXBeachConditions to 77295.

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