Outer Banks Hurricane Preparedness

As the breathtaking Outer Banks coastline beckons visitors with its stunning beauty and rich history, it’s essential to be prepared for the region’s unpredictable hurricane season. At Joe Lamb Jr and Associates, we value your safety and want to ensure that your vacation is not only enjoyable but also worry-free. In this blog post, we will discuss hurricane preparedness, delve into the fascinating hurricane history of the Outer Banks, and highlight the importance of travel insurance. Let’s dive in!

Understanding Hurricane Preparedness on the Outer Banks

When planning your visit to the Outer Banks, it’s crucial to be aware of hurricane preparedness measures. Familiarize yourself with evacuation routes, emergency shelters, and the local authorities guidelines. Keep a hurricane kit stocked with essential supplies such as non-perishable food, water, batteries, flashlights, and a first aid kit. Stay informed by monitoring weather forecasts and heeding any evacuation orders promptly.

Hurricane damage on a road from a hurricane in the 1960s

Unveiling the Hurricane History of the Outer Banks

The Outer Banks has witnessed its fair share of historic hurricanes that have left lasting impacts on the region. From the notorious Ash Wednesday Storm of 1962 to the devastating effects of Hurricane Isabel in 2003, understanding the area’s hurricane history provides valuable insights into the region’s vulnerability and resilience. Discover the stories of legendary storms that have shaped the Outer Banks’ landscape and communities.

Importance of Travel Insurance

While we can’t predict or control the path of a hurricane, we can take measures to protect ourselves financially. Travel insurance is vital to vacation planning, especially in hurricane-prone areas like the Outer Banks. It covers trip cancellations, interruptions, or delays due to unforeseen weather events. Travel insurance ensures peace of mind, allowing you to recover costs and make necessary arrangements in the event of a hurricane.

Hurricane flood damage in the outer banks with rising flood waters on a local street

Joe Lamb Jr and Associates: Your Trusted Partner

At Joe Lamb Jr and Associates, we prioritize the safety and satisfaction of our guests. Our experienced team is well-versed in hurricane preparedness and is committed to providing guidance and support throughout your stay. We offer a wide range of vacation rentals that adhere to the highest safety standards, ensuring comfort and security during your time in the Outer Banks.

Exploring the Outer Banks is an incredible experience, but being prepared and informed is essential, especially during hurricane season. By understanding hurricane preparedness measures, learning from the region’s hurricane history, and securing travel insurance, you can enjoy a worry-free vacation on this mesmerizing stretch of coastline.

Remember, your safety is our priority. Please plan ahead, stay informed, and let us take care of your vacation needs at Joe Lamb Jr and Associates.

Note: We kindly urge guests to stay informed about weather patterns in Dare County by signing up for the Dare County Emergency Management Alerts. By enrolling in this service, you will receive timely notifications regarding weather updates, ensuring that you are well-prepared and can make informed decisions during weather-related emergencies.

Outer Banks New Year Resolution

Now that we are in 2023, people are starting to make changes. Spending time with family, learning new skills, relaxing more, or creating new memories might be on your list of resolutions. An Outer Banks vacation allows you to accomplish all of these things. Contact us today to reserve your 2023 vacation!

Learn to Surf

A person surfing in the ocean of the Outer Banks

Besides its picturesque beaches, the Outer Banks is an ideal destination for surfers. World-class surfing spots are found around the Outer Banks, attracting surfers from all over the globe. However, these waves are not just for professionals but vacationers looking for water fun. Various surf schools offer lessons for vacationers of all ages. Try dancing on the water this year as a new year’s resolution.

Visit all 5 Lighthouse

A lighthouse in the Outer Banks illuminating the night sky

There are five lighthouses on the Outer Banks, which protect its shores. Driving along the barrier island coast will allow you to see these lighthouses. Reach the top to enjoy a bird’s-eye view of the island. Take an Outer Banks lighthouse road trip this year and visit them all!

Try a New Local Spot

Local restaurants, shops, and attractions are plentiful along the Outer Banks. This year try something new that you have never experienced before. Embrace a first experience this year!

Buy your Own Vacation Home

A vacation home in the Outer Banks

Buying a beach house has always been a dream of yours. Find that perfect beach home with the help of one of our real estate agents. Get in touch with an agent by clicking this link.

Reel One In

A man fishing off of the side of the boat in the Outer Banks

A favorite fishing spot has always been the Outer Banks. Known as “The Billfish Capital of the World,” fishermen travel far and wide to catch a bite. Perhaps you can fish deep sea, from the pier, or even from the beach. If fishing piques your interest, make this your destination. There may be a record catch this year.

Spending time with family

A vacation on the Outer Banks is the perfect way to spend quality time with your loved ones. Aside from the beach, there are plenty of activities to be enjoyed by the whole family. It’s an enjoyable way to spend time together, experience new things, and create new memories.

Go somewhere new

There is always room for new adventures. This year, why not spend some time on the Outer Banks beaches? Vacations are a great way to relax, have fun, and appreciate nature. Relax at the beach as you deserve it.



2022 Summer Beach Renourishment on the OBX

The Beach Nourishment with the equipment, the crab and a walkover on the OBX.
The Beach Nourishment with the equipment, the crab and a walkover on the OBX.

Do you have a vacation planned on the Outer Banks of North Carolina this summer? If you do, then allow us to share with you a little information about a much needed project taking place on our beach. Staying with us in one of our Outer Banks vacation rentals will keep you close to the beach. We at Joe Lamb Jr. & Associates wanted to share a little more information with you on what is happening on the OBX this summer with the beach nourishment project.

What is Beach Nourishment?

This is a question that is often asked many times for those who may not live at the beach, “what is beach nourishment?” Beach nourishment is something that is done periodically to most beaches whether it’s on the east coast, the gulf, or the west coast. Beaches are prone to natural erosion due to hurricanes and weather patterns; these types of natural erosion can alter the way the shoreline looks.

A peek from the first beach nourishment project at Jeanette's Pier in Nags Head, NC.
A peek from the first beach nourishment project at Jeanette’s Pier in Nags Head, NC.

You will notice that not all the beaches will be affected at the same time of the nourishment project. The crews will typically work on a section of the beach for about 2-3 days. During this time, they will be dredging sand from the bottom of the ocean floor and pumping it back to the shoreline that needs additional sand. They will use large machinery and large pipes to help pump the sand onto the shoreline. While this is taking place that section of the beach is closed but after the work is completed, they will move onto a new section of the beach.

What Are The Causes of Beach Erosion?

This is "The Crab" a 3-wheeled apparatus to measure what has to be done.
This is “The Crab” a 3-wheeled apparatus to measure what has to be done.

Beach erosion happens often on the Atlantic Coast and the Gulf of Mexico coast. The reason is due to a high influx of wind & storms including hurricanes that impact the barrier islands. The constant wind wiping and strong waves lapping along the shores of the barrier island change their shape, shoreline, and beaches. Often, we will generally see a change in the way one of the islands looks after a major hurricane comes through the area. But it’s not always just storms that can cause erosion. The wind, waves and tide changes also play a big role in the erosion as it will often take sand back into the ocean causing a change to the beach.

Benefits of Nourishment

A view into what the completed area looks like after it's renourished including a walkover the pipe.
A view into what the completed area looks like after it’s renourished including a walkover the pipe.

The Outer Banks beaches are a big portion of why people continue to vacation here. We continue to keep our beaches clean, and we will continue to invite those back for years and years to come. The Outer Banks is part of the barrier islands of North Carolina and play a big part in keeping the mainland from the brunt of major storms and tides. Just like the upkeep on your home, nourishments on the OBX are required for our beaches. 

Looking out onto the first beach nourishment at Jeanette's Pier in Nags Head, NC.
Looking out onto the first beach nourishment at Jeanette’s Pier in Nags Head, NC.

We are excited to see the results of the beach renourishment when it’s complete in September 2022 as there will be more beaches to love afterwards. Having strong and wide beaches provide storm protection for coastal structures, create new habitats, and enhance the beach for recreation. Staying in one of our OBX vacation rentals will allow your family to reconnect with each other this summer. We at Joe Lamb Jr. & Associates are looking forward to seeing you and your family this summer as you make new memories.

To learn more about the beach nourishment program and specific information on project updates please click here. 

Joe Lamb Jr. & Associates is one of the most trusted vacation rental managers in the local area by growing into a market leader in the Vacation Rental and Sales Industry. Joe Lamb Jr. and his family have played a vital and intricate role in the Outer Banks Community for decades.

Over the past 50+ years, Joe Lamb Jr. & Associates have worked diligently to help promote the Outer Banks for the amazing beach and family vacation destination that it is, helping to increase tourism in the area and grow our beautiful community.

Rain and The Great Outer Banks Escarpment

Beach escarpment in Nags Head, looking toward Jennette's Pier.
Beach escarpment in Nags Head, looking toward Jennette’s Pier.

Into every life a little rain must fall, but this has been ridiculous. Since this last system moved in on Saturday evening, rainfall has come in around 10”. That’s a lot.

For the most part the Outer Banks actually handles a heavy rain like that pretty well. The ground is porous—these are giant sandbars—so the water drains quickly into the aquifer. There is often some deep standing water on the roads during the rain; that can’t be helped. We are, after all, at sea level, so there is not very much drainage happening.

Some interesting things did occur this time.

Combination of Natural Forces Create New Beach Feature

One in particular was something we hadn’t seen before. The combination of a king tide—a high tide that lasts longer than usual, heavy seas and extraordinary amounts of rain combined to combined to carve out a 10’ high escarpment in the Nags Head beach just north of Jennette’s Pier.

It’s an interesting physical featue. Extending about 200 yards along the sea, the first half of the escarpment is 10’-11’ high, gradually lowering until it rejoins the beach.

According to an Outer Banks Voice interview with Tim Kana, the President of Coastal Science, scientific term for what has happened is an “erosional arc,” and it is certainly arc shaped. Coastal Science is the firm that designed the Nags Head beach nourishment project. Nags Head will renourish their beach next year.

According to Kana, the dramatic loss of sand was probably caused by a gap in the offshore sandbar that is usually there to dissipate the force of the waves. The combination of high surf and a longer than usual high tide caused the sand to collapse and be taken back out to sea.

It is certainly possible that the sand will form a sand bar. Generally speaking, sand from the beach does not travel very far.

Another escarpment has formed in Kitty Hawk. However, that is caused by town pumps that are draining low lying areas adjacent to the ocean. The outflow has carved away the beach. The effect in Kitty Hawk is expected to be short term.

Autumn is just around the corner, Check out our great Joe Lamb Jr., & Associates rentals for a perfect fall getaway.

Outer Banks Beach Nourishment Project Gains National Recognition

The beginning of the Outer Banks intra-local beach nourishment project. Duck, spring 2017.
The beginning of the Outer Banks intra-local beach nourishment project. Duck, spring 2017.

Intra-Local Effort Recognized for Multiple Community Benefits

What does a couple of years of planning and $38.5 million earn? When it comes to beach nourishment, recognition as one of the best projects in the nation.

The American Shore and Beach Preservation Association (ASBPA) which is a trade organization for companies engaged in nourishment, recognized the Intra-local project, taking note especially that it took a couple of years to move the project forward and that multiple towns and jurisdictions worked together.

“The take-home message for these projects is a multi-town beach nourishment project can be successful even when the odds seem to be against you,” Lee Weishar, chair of the association’s Best Restored Beach Committee, said.

The initial observation is that the project, that included the towns of Duck, Southern Shores, Kitty Hawk and Kill Devil Hills, performs as advertised. Although there were a number of significant storm events over the fall and winter of this past year, overwash and flooding was minimal with no reported infrastructure damage.

For a town like Kitty Hawk that is remarkable. The town’s beaches in particular suffered significant loss of sand and even storms that were not particularly strong caused widespread road closures as waves overtopped the dunes.

The ASBPA ranks nourishment  projects on three criteria:

  • The economic and ecological benefits the beach brings to its community;
  • The short and long-term success of the restoration project; and
  •  The challenges each community overcame during the course of the project.

The funding for the project was an innovative combination of local and Dare County money. Contributions from the towns were significant, but the lion’s share came from County coffers.

“Dare County is committed to preserving our beaches,” county board chairman Bob Woodard told the Outer Banks Voice.“They are the engine that drives our tourism economy and they require ongoing attention.”

Take some time to explore Outer Banks beaches. Check out Joe Lamb Jr., & Associates. for the best properties and the best locations.

Springtime in February on the Outer Banks

An even break and warm weather in February bought the surfers out.
An even break and warm weather in February bought the surfers out.

A Great Day to Be on the Beach

A day like we had today is a rare Outer Banks treat in February. Warm temperatures, a breeze from the southwest and the waves were breaking beautifully this morning.

Of course, the water temperature is still 45-50 degrees, so no one was in the water in shorts, but there were still a fair number of surfers and SUPs on the water—in dry suits.

It’s still a little early to tell, but it may be that a sandbar is forming across from where John’s Drive-in is located.

One of the effects of beach nourishment—and the entire Kitty Hawk beach was nourished—is sand from the beach forms a sandbar in the near shore. That sandbar is the part of the way beach nourishment protects the roads and homes along the shoreline.

If a sandbar is forming there, it would be there first time in a while that a sandbar has appeared there.

Farther north, a little south of Pelican’s Perch—that’s the pink Joe Lamb Jr., & Associates home that sits out on the beach—the sandbar is well formed and there were a number of surfers and SUP catching some waves.

It wasn’t just surfers enjoying a rare springlike day in February; dogs were out with their friends, their barks filled with joy. Quite a number of couples were strolling along the beach looking for sea glass and interesting shells.

A man with a metal detector was scouring the sand. Hadn’t found much though—an old nail that appeared to be square cut, raising the possibility that it came from a  wooden shipwreck—although that would be a remote possibility.

Of course 70 degrees in February is different than 70 degrees in July, but today was a great tease for the upcoming season.

And…it looks as though we’ll have a few more days like today on tap.

TS Irma? Maybe but Rain and Wind on OBX Tuesday

When it gets too nasty to do nourishment work. Nourishment equipment parked at Wilkin's Street ramp in Kitty Hawk.
When it gets too nasty to do nourishment work. Nourishment equipment parked at Wilkins Street ramp in Kitty Hawk.

Will the latest system off the South Carolina coast become Tropical Storm Irma? Does it really matter?

The answers are, in the order asked: Maybe, although it’s looking a bit doubtful. And…no not really.

Will It Get a Name?

Naming a tropical system means the storm has met certain criteria that the National Weather Service uses to designate a tropical system. Mostly that there is a core of circulation with thunderstorms forming around that core.

Potential Tropical Cyclone Ten, which will become TS Irma if it is named, does not have a well-defined center of circulation. So poorly defined is what might be a center of circulation that the National Hurricane Center isn’t sure exactly where it is, or if there is one…at least in their 11 p.m. report.

What Potential Tropical Cyclone Ten is at this point is nasty coastal storm. It’s a little bit like a strong nor’easter only a lot warmer. There’s a lot of wind and rain, but a far cry from some of the more powerful nor’easters or tropical systems we’ve seen.

If Potential Tropical Cyclone Ten was named Irma tomorrow, that wouldn’t change anything. The all of the forecast models are in agreement that the storm will brush the Outer Banks and then hurry out to sea. Whether it’s a named storm or just a strong one, the track of the system remains the same and there’s very little chance it will intensify by tomorrow.

Effect on Beach Nourishment

This is the first test of the sections of beach that have been nourished. We haven’t had a chance to see what’s happening along the shoreline yet, although a quick first glimpse in Kitty Hawk seemed to indicate all is well.

There will be some loss of sand, but that is a design feature. The sand will form a sandbar that is the first line of protection for the shoreline.

It’s important to remember that beach nourishment is a shoreline protection tool. A byproduct of the process is a wider beach, but reason for nourishment project is to protect infrastructure and property.

Beach Nourishment Begins in Duck

Beach nourishment construction zone in Duck.
Beach nourishment construction zone in Duck.

The first 200’ of the Dare County Intra-Local Beach Nourishment project has been competed in Duck.

Crews been working last week and made good progress in spite of some thunderstorms that rolled through the area. The schedule is pretty aggressive so crews are working seven days a week.

A Construction Zone

Beach nourishment calls for an active construction zone, and Great Lades Dredge Company, who has the contract to place the sand on the beach, has a lot of experience in the field. As a consequence the area they are working in is clearly marked as a construction zone.

Plans call for minimizing the impact of the project for Outer Banks visitors. Construction zones, as an example, are limited to 500’, creating plenty of sandy space on both sides.

Planned Schedule

The first phase in Duck should take 45 days. Equipment will then be moved to Kitty Hawk and Southern Shores. Southern Shores is a bit late to the nourishment party, the decision to nourish about a half mile of shoreline came after Hurricane Matthew devastated the beach in front of Pelican Watch.

Southern Shores did not officially vote to participate until March of this year.

The Kitty Hawk portion of the project is the most involved and according to the design team from Coastal Planning and Engineering of North Carolina the work will take 74 days, beginning in early July and ending in September.

Included in that work is a one week window in June to complete the Southern Shores portion.

Work in Kill Devil Hills will being in August and plans call for it to take about 40 days.

The appearance of the Duck beach is typical of a newly nourished area. Much wider than it was before nourishment, by design a portion of that sand will be returning to the sea to create a protective sandbar.

Beach nourishment does take a long-term commitment. Typically a beach has to be renourished in five to seven years. The Nags Head beach, which was nourished in 2011, is due to for a touch next year, seven years after the first phase of their project ended.

Replenishing, however, is not as expensive as the first go around nor does it take as long.

Southern Shores Approves Beach Nourishment

Reasons for beach nourishment. Numbers 1 and 3 are particularly relevant for Southern Shores.
Reasons for beach nourishment. Numbers 1 and 4 are particularly relevant for Southern Shores.

Town Council Agrees It’s Needed

After months of debate and hesitation, beach nourishment is coming to the town of Southern Shores.

After Hurricane Matthew devastated the shoreline in front of Pelican Watch, just north of Kitty Hawk Pier, residents asked the town council if it would be possible to piggyback on the Kitty Hawk portion of the Dare County Intra-local beach nourishment project.

On Monday, March 6, by a vote of 4-1 the Town Council decided to move forward with the project. Councilman Gary McDonald, concerned about ongoing cost commitments, voted agains the proposal.

Cost Savings

If the Town Council had not approved the measure at this time, the cost of nourishing the beach would have been far more expensive in the future. By taking advantage of existing equipment in place, Southern Shores was able to get the best possible price for the project.

The next opportunity to piggyback on a local project if town council had not reached an agreement would be next year when Nags Head replenishes their beach. However, because Nags Head is father away from Southern Shores than Kitty Hawk, the expense would be greater.

The Intra-local agreement stipulates a 50/50 cost sharing between the county and the town that are participating. With the addition of Southern Shores, Kill Devil Hills, Kitty Hawk and Duck are now part of the program.

As a late comer to the agreement, Southern Shores does have a slightly different payment arrangement with the county agreeing to pay up to $500,000 of shared cost. Although project engineers have not given a final cost estimate, there is confidence the final price tag will not exceed $1 million.

Southern Shores will fund their portion of the project with a special $150,000 assessment on the 26 beachfront properties affected and with funds from general revenues.

The portion of the beach that will be nourished is approximately 2500’ north of the Kitty Hawk town line.

The project will begin in late June.

Meetings Highlight Outer Banks Beach Nourishment

Julien Devisse of Coastal Planning and Engineering speaking at Kill Devil Hills.
Julien Devisse of Coastal Planning and Engineering discussing beach nourishment at Kill Devil Hills.

With beach nourishment scheduled to begin in May in the towns of Duck, Kitty Hawk and Kill Devil Hills–and maybe Southern Shores, the contractor for the project, Coastal Engineering held a series of informational meetings Wednesday and Thursday.

Traveling with Coastal Engineering was a representative from Great Lakes Dredge and Dock, the company that will be pumping the sand on the beach.

The presentation in each town was geared toward the work that was being done there, but much of the presentation was consistent.


The work, as an example, will be done in 1000’ sections, and as construction is underway, the public, for safety reasons, will not be permitted in the work zone.

Julien Devisse from Coastal Engineering had the task of explaining how nourishment works.

Using graphs he showed how, over time, sand from a nourished beach typically moves off shore to form a protective sand bar that helps to dissipate the fore of incoming waves.

He also discussed the timetable.

Work is scheduled to begin in Duck in mid May with a planned completion date in late June or early July.

Kitty Hawk will begin in mid June and should wrap up by mid August.

Plans call for Kill Devil Hills nourishment to begin in early August and be completed by mid September.

Devisse did caution, though, that there were a number of factors that could influence the schedule—weather is certainly one of the factors. He also noted, however, that the dredges were pumping sand almost continuously and that given the abrasive nature of sand, equipment failures could occur.


According to the representative from Great Lakes Dredge and Dock the borrow areas, which is where the sand is located that will be brought to the beach, is about six miles off shore and is considered easily accessible with good quality sand.

Although there are conditions under which it will not  be able to operate, the dredge can continue its work in seas up to 8’.

Federal regulations require monitoring for sea turtles. N.E.S.T. will be monitoring construction zones to insure no nesting sea turtles are disturbed.