Storm Watch

An RV buried to its wheels in sand after a hurricane.

NPS Photo

Storms--whether a coastal storm, nor'easter, tropical storm, or hurricane--are a part of living along the coast. Storms can affect the park with overwash, erosion and closures. The park will issue news releases on the storm(s) and any possible impacts to the islands and park operations.

Before, during, and after a storm, please monitor this page as well as our social media account on Facebook and Twitter, and our Current Conditions page for information about park conditions.

Tropical Storm Elsa

July 6, 2021 -- ***Tropical Storm WATCHES posted for portions of Eastern North Carolina ***
Impacts include the threat for severe weather, strong winds and heavy rain arriving late Wednesday night and moving through Central and Eastern NC on Thursday. This includes the possibility of tornadoes. Coastal flooding is possible Thursday.
For more info visit:

Due to the forecast for Tropical Storm (TS) Elsa, the park is preparing for the arrival of the storm Wednesday night and early Thursday. We are currently under a Tropical Storm Watch with possible tropical storm force winds (39-75 mph) arriving in the area Wednesday night into Thursday. The cabins will continue to operate but, sales of ice and gas will not be available on Thursday. Island Express Ferry Service, the passenger ferry from Harkers Island and out of Beaufort, but has temporarily cancelled operations for Thursday.

The park will be monitoring the weather for any abrupt changes.

Some park operation will be impacted by TS Elsa -- Great Island cabin operations on S. Core Banks will close early Thurs., July 8. Passenger ferry service will be temporarily closed all day Thursday. All other ferry services will temporarily close in the afternoon on Thurs., July 8. Park intends to resume normal operations on Fri., July 9, pending post-storm assessments.


News Releases

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    Before & After Satellite Imagery
    Long Point Cabin Camp before Hurricane Dorian Long Point Cabin Camp after Hurricane Dorian
    Long Point Cabins Before / Image Credit: Google Maps
    Long Point Cabins After / Image Credit: NOAA
    Satellite imagery of Core Banks at the Long Point Cabin Camp showing damage sustained in Hurricane Dorian.

    Wild Cows on North Core Banks

    Images are of when we first spotted the one cow in September, a photo gallery of images taken of the roundup efforts on November 21 & 22 (including one of all three cows dashing away after being released on their home range) and finally a video of the ferry as it leaves North Core Banks for the mainland carrying the cows and the equipment.
    white cow found on North Core Banks after Hurricane Dorian
    This wild cow was found on North Core Banks following Hurricane Dorian in early September.  The deep storm surge that flowed from the Pamlico Sound back to the Atlantic Ocean swept her off her home range on Cedar Island over to the barrier island in Cape Lookout National Seashore.  She has now been joined by 2 more wild cows that also were washed over to the barrier island during the storm.

    NPS/Jeff West

    White wild cow runs away from the photographer
    Unlike the wild horses on Shackleford Banks at the southern end of the park, the wild cattle that lived on Cedar Island were not used to seeing humans or having them approach them.  This one took off running when the photographer tried to get closer.

    NPS/Jeff West


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    The 3 wild cows that were swept from their home range by the storm surge during Hurricane Dorian over to North Core Banks in Cape Lookout National Seashore, were rounded up and returned by ferry to the mainland to be reunited with their herd.

    Contact the Park

    Mailing Address:

    131 Charles St
    Harkers Island, NC 28531


    (252) 728-2250

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