world probably knows more of what has happened to Hatteras
Island than the people who stayed during this major weather event.
The storm, which approached from the south, impacted Ocracoke and
Hatteras Islands for over 24 hours. Heavy rains and
winds battered the islands from early Saturday morning through Sunday
morning. Islanders lost power before sunrise in most places.
Several breaches broke through the dunes between Frisco and Hatteras,
the Mirlo beach area of north Rodanthe and on Pea Island which impeded
the flow of traffic and information. Currently, there is no
phone service or land line service, no power and it is difficult to
accurately on the damages and effects of this powerful hurricane.
is what we do know. Hwy 12 is passable between Frisco and
Hatteras Village. The dunes were breached in four areas along
this stretch. DOT cleared the road of sand on Sunday and
the dunes. There is a small area on the southbound lane which
collapsed and will need repairing. Otherwise, the road is
and totally passable by midday.
It is a different story further north.
According to our sources, Highway 12 was cut in four places.
Currently, there is a cut in the road at Mirlo Beach in north
Rodanthe. Water is flowing from ocean to sound near or over
area where the Serendipity House sat before it was relocated back in
The road on the south side of this breach has collapsed between four to
eight feet in places. The length of the dropped road is about
houses long. The width of the breach is smaller than the
created by Hurricane Isabel back in September 2003.
Further north on Pea Island are three more breaks. One of
reported to be significant with an estimated depth of 6 feet and about
100 to 200 yards across.
The electric substation which was in this area was washed
At this time, we do not know how it will impact the residents on
Sunday evening, the National Guard arrived on Hatteras Island via ferry
from Swan Quarter to Hatteras. Trucks loaded with personal
supplies converged at the Buxton Rescue Squad around 8:00 p.m. to
devise a plan on how and where to send the supplies which consisted of
bottled water, Meals Ready to Eat (MREs) and tarps.
Incident Commander, Bob Helle, said that some of the supplies were to
stay in the southern villages and distribution would be handled by the
local fire departments. The majority of the supplies would be
taken north by the National Guard to the tri-village area of Rodanthe,
Salvo and Waves which much harder hit by the massive hurricane.
The local doctors evacuated for the storm and their return was hampered
by the battered condition of Highway 12. A special task force
team was sent in by the Red Cross to the medical clinic in Avon to help
local residents. A PA (physician’s assistant), two
nurse and a basic EMT were manning the clinic until our doctors can
It is reported that this emergency task force team is often sent
into areas following natural disasters and are used to sleeping in
tents. Having a facility like the clinic to stay in was a
On Monday, an emergency ferry will bring supplies to Rodanthe via ferry
from Stumpy Point. No people will be transported on this
only the dry goods and supplies.
Hurricane Irene brought strong east to southeast winds which caused the
ocean to pound the coast line for almost a day which pushed all the
water out of the Pamlico Sound. Because the storm moved
past Hatteras to the west, most locals felt that the reverse storm
surge would be mild and sound waters which had piled up north and west
of the area would return more gradually.
Many were shocked at the amount of sound water that flooded the area
over Saturday night and into Sunday.
Mike Sheley of Frisco, got into his truck to move it to higher ground
when the flood started only to discover the water was over the steering
wheel of his big truck.
Brigand’s Bay had waist high water and some neighborhood roads were
still impassable by Sunday evening.
Buxton fared better. But the real trouble started from Avon
got worse further north. The residents of the old Avon
a.k.a. Kinnakeet, had water chest to shoulder high inside their
homes. Many cars went under water at the Avon Post Office
is a popular place to park cars during a potential flood time because
it sits on higher ground.
At the moment, we don’t have any specific reports from the tri-villages
area but understand from incident commander, Bob Helle, that the
situation was not good.
Local radio stations have conducted on-air interviews from the public
calling in the information that they know. Based on what was
on the radio, Manteo, Stumpy Point, Belhaven, Wanchese, Collington,
among others, were particularly hit hard by sound side flooding.
As soon as communications and electricity are restored, the Island Free
Press will be back with full staff bringing you up-to-date coverage of
the aftermath of Hurricane Irene. Stay tuned.
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