DARE COUNTY, NC-- Dare County officials are calling Hurricane Sandy their first real test since Hurricane Irene in 2011.
"Everyone is coming together to make the preparations that are necessary," said Dare County spokeswoman Dorothy Killingsworth.
Highway patrol, the North Carolina Department of Transportation and emergency crews are preparing for what could be 24 hours of heavy rain, possible flooding and gale force winds.
High waves and heavy surf are expected on the coast. The sound side was completely under water during Irene but could avoid the brunt of this storm.
That would be good news for Manteo Maritime Museum owner Barry Wickre. The museum was nearly waist-deep in water during Hurricane Irene.
"It's never come up that high in Manteo before," said Wickre.
The focus now is on beach erosion and ocean overwash on Highway 12.
County Manager Bobby Outten says he's confident they've taken the necessary steps to keep the roads clear.
"If we happen to have a breach, then the Department of Transportation is ready to go," Outten said. "We've talked with them and everything is set up to solve those problems as quickly as we can."