All of the
of Hatteras and Ocracoke islands yearn for their lives to be back to
normal, especially in Avon, Rodanthe, Waves, and Salvo – the villages
that saw the most damage from Hurricane Irene.
Day by day, Buxton is showing signs of recovery quickly as more and
more businesses, mostly restaurants, are beginning to open for
customers, most with abbreviated hours.
This morning in the southern Hatteras villages, the welcomed sounds of
the noisy trash trucks after a one-week interruption was a welcomed
sound of normalcy.
Buxton did lose its power for a little while yesterday as the Cape
Hatteras Electric Cooperative brought Avon online to receive power from
the diesel generators located in Buxton. Attempts to hookup
portable megawatt generator that arrived by ferry were unsuccessful,
and it was eventually moved to Waves where crews hoped it would run in
tandem with the second portable generator to help power Rodanthe,
Waves, and Salvo (RWS).
Avon received power yesterday afternoon for the first time since
Saturday morning, and the power outage was only temporary in
Buxton. Workers at CHEC attempted to call businesses in
warning them before power was disconnected for a short time.
Larger facilities, such as HealthEast Family Care in Avon, were asked
to continue to use their generator to help reduce the system
Emergency services continue in Avon and the tri-villages. The
five-person special operational response team (SORT) has manned the
local medical center 24/7 since Sunday night. Two Blackhawk
helicopters flew them and a full cache of medical supplies into Billy
Mitchell Airfield, and they were immediately transported to Avon and
set up a mini emergency room.
The Salvation Army continues to feed hundreds of people three times a
day at the Avon Volunteer Fire Department and at the RWS Community
Center. Local churches, fire departments, and rescue squads
continue to provide for the community and many volunteers, both
residents and support organizations, such as the National Guard, which
also arrived on Sunday.
There is an immediate need for volunteers during mealtime at the RWS
Community Center. Anyone wishing to help, please show up and
pitch in. According to Roger Sullivan, canteen operator for
Salvation Army in RWS, they are feeding between 400 and 500 people per
Food Lion is offering free water out of the back of trailers in both
Avon and Rodanthe. The store in Avon remains
local grocery stores – Village Grocery, Conner’s Supermarket, and
Burrus Red & White Supermarket -- have remained open to provide
food and supplies to the islanders.
The island-wide curfew continues, and residents are asked to be inside
their homes between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m. The local deputies and
state police have been stopping everyone they see out during these
The Coast Guard is also closely monitoring all boats coming in and out
of the island.
The primary mission of the ferry system, which is running from Hatteras
village and Rodanthe to Stumpy Point, is to bring essential supplies
only to the island. Gasoline, propane, UPS, Salvation Army,
Food Lion trucks are the most visible vehicles on the ferries.
The ferry system continues to encounter problems with shallow channels
caused by Hurricane Irene. Yesterday, at least one ferry from
Rodanthe got stuck, and it took about 20 minutes to get going
again. The Ferry Division hopes to dredge this channel very
Four ferries are traveling to the Rodanthe dock daily. The
ferry boats are going to Rodanthe -- the Hatteras, Hyde, Croatan, and
the Stan White.
According to one ferry dock worker, about 80 percent of the vehicles
leaving the island are commercial and the rest are people getting off
the island for various reasons.
Incoming ferries are bringing only supplies. At the moment,
one is allowed back on Hatteras or Ocracoke until the local officials
feel that the infrastructure can support more people. This
been unsettling for those full-time residents who evacuated in the face
of the hurricane and are anxious to get back to check on their homes,
families, and friends. For many stuck off-island, the
hardship of living on the other side is great.
The little inlet that severed Highway 12 at Mirlo Beach is about the
same but more water continues to flow over the submerged road and
around the houses located on the soundside of Highway 12.
low tide, the amount of water here is significantly deeper and
wider. There is more erosion in this area, increasing the
the houses standing in this pool of water.
All the utility workers have moved north to work on the problems
located at the larger inlet, which is called by some New New
Inlet. This name comes from the fact that the breach occurred
near the same spot as an inlet, called New Inlet, opened and then
closed some years ago.
Apparently, all utility workers are having a lot of success.
folks are starting to get services back, such as Internet, cell phone,
long distance phones, and cable. This is the first article
written that will be e-mailed from my home. Thanks to the
folks who allowed people to use their WiFi since the hurricane.
It’s too early to tell how many hundreds of cars have been lost as a
result of the horrific soundside flooding Saturday night. My
truck has transported many different items between the villages and an
occasional rider in the back.
Yesterday, my husband and I picked up an unusual hitchhiker along
Highway 12 in Salvo. A brown pelican -- storm weary, hungry,
confused -- got a ride with us to local wildlife rehabilitator, Lou
Browning, in Frisco. The pelican was healthy but in desperate
need of rest, food, and water.
Inside, where Lou triages wildlife, were more than a dozen shearwaters,
an offshore ocean bird. Apparently, these birds are another
victim of Hurricane Irene. They have washed to shore and
die without human intervention. As we were leaving, another
shearwaters were being brought in for help.
It’s ironic that islanders, who have every reason to hate the birds
because of the restrictions that certain groups have forced on the
locals and its fragile economy, have volunteered to patrol the beaches,
looking for wildlife that was adversely affected by this super-sized
storm. Some of us wonder what is the National Audubon Society
doing – helping the birds or stopping road repairs?
The people of Hatteras Island have a lot heart and strength.
is a group of people who know the meaning of friends, family, and
neighbors. Dozens of people from the southern villages are up
Rodanthe, Waves, and Salvo at this moment helping those in need.
I am so proud of the community that I call home.
HERE TO VIEW SLIDE SHOW