Beverly Perdue visits Hatteras to talk with hurricane victims
Carolina Gov. Beverly Perdue demonstrated her commitment to Hatteras
Island and the other hurricane ravaged areas of the eastern part of the
state with a planned visit today.
It’s been almost five weeks since Hurricane Irene battered the northern
part of Hatteras Island, and there was still plenty of raw damage for
her to see.
Perdue arrived midday by helicopter near the ferry dock in
Rodanthe. She was met by Dare County officials that included
county commissioners Allen Burrus and Warren Judge, Dare County manager
Bobby Outten, Jed Dixon of the NCDOT Ferry Division, and two FEMA
It was all hugs as Perdue made her way through the welcoming committee
with her entourage that included former Democratic Congressman Bob
She walked over and personally thanked the men and women working at the
docks for doing a great job in such a difficult circumstance. The ferry
system has struggled to carry people, supplies, and road repair
equipment on and off the island since Hurricane Irene severed the
island’s only road on Aug. 27.
The governor, both commissioners, and county manager rode in one
vehicle together as they toured the three northern villages.
Their first stop was at the Rodanthe-Waves-Salvo Community Center,
which has served as the hub of activity since the hurricane
She immediately shook hands and talked with volunteers for the Baptist
Men, a charitable organization which has been providing three meals a
day at the center since the Salvation Army pulled out in
Perdue mingled with the locals who were eating lunch, asking each
person, “I want to ask you what happened to your house” and listened to
each person’s answer. The issues that villagers had varied
the need to raise a house to prevent future damage, insurance problems,
and difficulties with renewing driver’s licenses.
To each answer, she pledged a solution.
The commissioners drove Perdue through all three villages so she could
see the severity of the damage first-hand. Piles of broken
lumber, wet insulation and carpet, appliances, and ruined furniture
still crowd Highway 12.
They went as far as the Salvo Day Use Area, just south of the villages,
where mountains of already collected rubble stood. There was
much here, and yet there was so much more to collect
The last stop was at the Really Really Free Market in Waves, which set
up shop shortly after Hurricane Irene providing free clothing, personal
items, cleaning supplies, and more to anyone in need on
Perdue got right in and talked with the people in need face to
face. She listened, asked questions, and promised
The people were happy to see her and were eager to talk to her about
With insurance issues being the topic of many complaints, former
Congressman Etheridge promised to make a call quickly to the state
“When people are hurting, they need their money now,” stated Etheridge.
The governor was driven across a single layer of asphalt that covers
the once active inlet at Mirlo Beach. Earlier, she saw the
completed bridge over New New Inlet on Pea Island from the
A good amount of political pressure has been leveled against the amount
of money the state has spend and is spending on repairing the highways,
bridges, and dunes on Hatteras Island.
In response to a question, Perdue said she remains completely committed
to “doing what it takes to keep traffic flowing onto the
We need help from our federal partners, but I will do what it takes.”
Permanent highway repair options that are being tossed around include
beach nourishment, filling the New New Inlet, or making a permanent
bridge across it. Longer causeway-type bridges are also on
There has been no decision made at this time, she said, there have been
only discussions with plausible answers that make financial sense.
The governor left the island after the short interaction with the
people to tour Aurora, N.C., which was another area hard hit by
Hurricane Irene. Earlier, she was in Bertie County.
“It’s no different there in the other parts of the state,” said Warren
Judge about other areas of North Carolina hit hard by Hurricane Irene.
Hurricane Irene was a large storm, measuring about 400 miles across,
and it left a wide swath of destruction in eastern North Carolina and
all the way up the Eastern Seaboard.
Hurricane Irene was such a large storm, measuring about 400 miles
across, and the storm
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