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snobx 2018 = an ice and snowpocalypse

Winter storm Grayson transforms beach communities.

Sandy Run Park after the 2018 winter storm.

Sandy Run Park after winter storm Grayson. Photo by Kip Tabb

The Outer Bank doesn’t get transformed into a winter wonderland very often, but when it happens its magical.

Looking south along the Kitty Hawk beach at low tide.

Looking south along the Kitty Hawk beach at low tide. Photo by Kip Tabb

Yes the road were bad—ok, worse than bad…almost impassable…and the north wind was cold, but taking the time check out the beach or to walk along Kitty Hawk Bay or around Sandy Run Park revealed a world rarely seen on the Outer Banks.

With the wind form the north, the ducks, geese and yes, seagulls, were gathered in Kitty Hawk Bay. The waters were not quite iced over—rather a slushy mix that couldn’t support much more than the raft of gulls gathered 100 yards offshore.


Sledding on Windgrass.

Sledding on Windgrass. Photo by Kip Tabb

At Windgrass—that’s the access road to the south end of the multiuser path off Moor Shore Road, the alternate use for skim boards and boogie boards was on full display. Maybe they didn’t have quite the steering capability a sled would have had, but on an icy surface they still glided to the bottom.

The beauty of a winter wonderland, though, was reserved for Sandy Run Park. Trees bowed under the weight of snow, arced gracefully over the boardwalk. On the water a small family of hooded mergansers took flight, startled by the sound of steps on the boardwalk. In the trees there is a constant rustle and chirrup of birds—chickadees, wrens and cardinals.

Cardinal at Sandy Run. Photo by Kip Tabb

Cardinal at Sandy Run. Photo by Kip Tabb

The weather forecast is calling for a few days of subfreezing temperatures, and businesses, schools and government offices are closed. That makes it a good time to get out and explore a world we don’t usually see on the Outer Banks—a winter wonderland in a summer paradise.

The Town of Kill Devil Hills just published this great video tour of our morning road conditions in Kill Devil Hills from the snow event on January 4, 2018. The Kill Devil Hills Police Department recommends you avoid all non-essential driving as the roads are covered in thick ice and temperatures remain below freezing.

Writer’s note: A big thank you to the backhoe driver who was clearing the parking lot at Mattress Firm in Kitty Hawk and most especially to the Jeep driver who spent at least 30 minutes helping me get my car off an icy patch on Lillian. Without their help I would probably still be there wondering how I was going get my car to move.

Contributed by Kip Tabb, HOBX Correspondent

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