Hurricane Irene Aftermath
September 5, 2011 Facebook TwitterMore...

Damage to ramp at Stumpy Point halts ferry to Hatteras

By IRENE NOLAN

The ramp used to load vehicles onto the emergency ferry running from Stumpy Point to Rodanthe and Hatteras was damaged by a piece of heavy equipment this afternoon and could be shut down for 24 hours.

The shutdown comes as residents of Hatteras Island who evacuated were lining up to return home.  It was only last night that Dare County opened the re-entry process to all residents and abandoned a previously announced schedule of re-entry by village and first letter of the resident’s last name.

According to Allen Burrus, vice-chairman of the Dare County Board of Commissioners, a large truck carrying a piece of heavy equipment was leaving the ferry at Stumpy Point when the load slipped, caught a metal beam on the ramp, and bent it.

The ramp, he said, cannot be operated, and an engineer and repair personnel are on the way. There are three ferry slips at Stumpy Point but only one has a ramp to load and off-load vehicles.

Burrus said the official word from the county is that the ferry operation will be shut down for 24 hours, but it is possible that it will be repaired in a shorter time.

Buffy Reed of Hatteras village was in line to come back when she was told by a Raleigh television reporter about the shutdown.

About a half hour after the accident, she said, the people in line still had no official word and, by her estimate, more than 80 vehicles were in the line.

Later, she said, a state trooper told her that officials were about to tell everyone in line to turn around.

Today’s re-entry is for Hatteras Island residents only, and they must have a driver’s license with a Hatteras Island address.

However, Reed said that she was walking down the ferry line and there were vehicles from out-of-state, including an ORV trailing a boat, both with West Virginia license plates, and an RV with Florida plates.

Visitors and non-resident property owners are not being allowed on the island yet.



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