back reopening tri-villages until after Oct. 10
Dare County Emergency Management announced this
that visitors with upcoming travel plans for the villages of Rodanthe,
Waves, and Salvo are advised that visitor re-entry will not begin until
sometime after Monday, Oct. 10.
Dare County had previously said re-entry to the tri-villages would be
sometime after Oct. 6.
The announcement has repercussions beyond visitors with reservations in
Rodanthe, Waves, and Salvo.
The southern villages of Avon, Buxton, Frisco, and Hatteras are now
open to visitors who must have “mandatory” ferry reservations to get
here from the mainland via ferry through Ocracoke.
The mainland ferries from Swan Quarter and Cedar Island to Ocracoke
cannot accommodate all of the visitors with rental reservations on
Furthermore, many have been told their travel insurance will not
reimburse them for their rental costs just because they can’t get a
Those folks were hanging onto the hope that repairs on Highway 12 would
be completed and the road would be opened in time for their upcoming
reservations with check-in on Saturday or Sunday, Oct. 8 or 9.
The Dare County announcement indicates that isn’t going to happen.
Highway 12 was breached in several areas during Hurricane Irene on Aug.
27. The North Carolina Department of Transportation is
a temporary bridge at the largest of those breaches on Pea Island and
has filled in and shored up with sandbags a lesser breach at the
S-curves just north of Rodanthe.
The work on the highway is tantalizingly close to being completed, and
rumors have been flying for the past week about an official reopening
The rumors have been all over the place – with reopening coming in two
days, on Oct. 10, on Oct. 15, and not until late October.
DOT has hesitated to set a date for reopening the highway.
“We currently have crews out on N.C. 12 working around the clock,” DOT
spokeswoman Hollie Allen said in an e-mail this morning. “However, all
of the remaining work is very weather dependent and we want to make
sure any date we give out is firm. We are working to open the road as
soon as it’s ready, but quality takes precedence over speed.”
A DOT Division 1 bridge engineer told the Outer Banks Voice yesterday
that the highway would reopen on Oct. 15, adding that it could be a day
or two earlier or later.
Meanwhile, others have been told by a DOT official that the road could
open by Oct. 11.
As DOT noted, the final repair work is weather dependent, and the
forecast is for fair weather for the next week, so Oct. 11 is certainly
Both islanders and visitors have been frustrated by not having a firm
date for reopening the road.
County and DOT officials have made it clear that they understand the
frustration but don’t want to set a date and then have to disappoint
everyone. They emphasize that they will get the highway open and
reinstate full access to Hatteras as soon as possible for everyone.
“We hope to know a firm date later this week and are aiming to give
everyone notice as soon as we have that date,” said Allen.