When planning a trip to any coastal area susceptible to hurricanes, it's essential to consider what time of year these tropical beasts can occur. The Outer Banks has seen its fair share of hurricanes, and many locals are accustomed to riding out a couple of storms a year.
Since the millennium, the area has been impacted by dozens of tropical depressions, tropical storms, and hurricanes, including Hurricane Floyd, Isabel, Irene, and Matthew.
If you don't already know, hurricanes are graded using the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale, which measures the storms from one to five, with five being the strongest.
No storm has completely devastated the area, but some have caused significant beach erosion and destroyed roads and houses. However, one portion of NC 12 in Kitty Hawk has been repaired annually!
If you plan a trip to the OBX soon, you should know that the Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1st through November 30th. If you plan a trip to the Outer Banks during the summer or fall months, you must be on the lookout for hurricanes.
Fortunately, when a storm is churning in the Atlantic Ocean, every major news outlet is all over coverage of the storm. So most of the time, you'll know if there is a possibility of a hurricane impacting coastal North Carolina three or more days in advance. Of course, some tropical storms can pop up overnight and strike the following day, but this is unlikely.
If you plan a trip to the OBX during hurricane season and spend significant money to rent a house or condo for a week, consider vacation insurance. This insurance will reimburse you for some or all of the money you spend on lodging if a named storm lands on the Outer Banks. However, remember that this insurance only protects you if there is a hurricane!
You likely will not be reimbursed if the storm is a nor'easter, tropical depression, or a tropical storm.