|October 2011 Letters
to the Editor
Letters to the
Editor....10.27.2011 9:45 am
Commentary: NPS refusal to drain
stormwater is a point of contention for islanders and visitors
finding the road to Ramp 44 very difficult to navigate. I
Jeep and can get through the water, but it is difficult to see the road
and holes next to the road. There is a big hole as you turn
Ramp 44. I think draining the water would be a safety issue,
secondly, this can't be doing the road any good. If you are
going to protect the drivers, let’s protect the road!
Chicamacomico Life-Saving Station working to reopen soon
Could you add a
contribution address to the article?
article on the Chicamacomico Life-Saving Station was interesting, but I
wish it had included an address to send the donations.
note: Thank you both for the suggestion. We have
to the article: For more information on Chicamacomico Life-Saving
Station Historic Site, go to http://www.chicamacomico.net/.
To contribute to the repairs from Hurricane Irene damage,
checks to Chicamacomico Life-Saving Station, P.O. Box 5, Rodanthe, NC
Guardsmen spent countless hours aiding hurricane victims
a great story. Our men and women of the armed services are the best in
the world! I hope the Coast Guard knows how outstanding their people
are and see that they are rewarded in some way for all of their
selfless work they performed. If only we had more people like them in
our country nowadays.
am so proud of these young men for their dedication to the community
and fellow man in time of need. I am especially proud of my nephew,
Steven Haughton, who is dedicated to helping those in need.
Coasties helped clean my 81-year-old mother's storage area. We were in
New Youk, but my husband took before and after photos of the area, and
my Mom said she would of been completely depressed had she come home to
the mess. She and I are very thankful for all the hard work
was done at her house. Thank you, Coast Guard. You made my
Hatteras woman dies in dive accident
off Wrightsville Beach
person was lost. Amy was a helpful, caring friend to many. She will be
missed by all.
Getting by with a little help from our friends
It’s sound advice with truth resounding throughout. We cannot
wait to get back on the island.
and Tony Pierce
I can say is that I am proud to have Hatteras blood flowing through me.
This is awesome.
under control; no more aerial spraying planned
I believe the
mosquitoes in Wanchese are a hardier breed, but thanks anyway.
developing long-term solutions for Highway 12
I sense another
SELC lawsuit in the making.
Angling: Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines
Nunamaker with that tagged drum -- nice catch, Doc!
National Wildlife Refuge is open for business
my first trip to the Outer Banks, I visited Pea Island. I have to say I
never seen so many waterbirds at once in the same place. Despite the
high winds that day, we sat on the benches and watched them for the
longest time. This was the third week of October. I saw white and brown
pelicans. white ibis, great white egrets, little blue heron,
double-crested cormorants, some smaller gulls I didn't identify, and a
host of others I couldn't identify. What a beautiful place to bird
I will be back
next year if at all possible.
man killed and three injured in crash on closed Highway 12
Sorry to hear
about Gary Midgett. He was a great person. I hope his family is doing
The Expert Movers
is an extremely interesting interview by Ms. Nolan. I am posting it on
my blog: www.missmover.wordpress.com as a piece of industry news. Thank
The Mess at Mirlo:
Future is uncertain for Rodanthe beach houses
doesn't the state buy the whole subdivision and use the eminent domain
clause it can use by law? In this case it seems appropriate?
we should firm up the houses and market the area similar to Venice in
Italy. Call it Venice Mirlo. The Tourist Bureau
market gondola trips in Rodanthe.
of the BOX thinking
Sparks book did not star Richard Gere and Diane Lane. The
movie did. (Bad movie.) Watch your antecedent
note: Thank you. You are correct and we have
I was just through there last week, and, yes. the water impedes any
progress getting to some of the homes. It is a real shame really, but
with the high prices of rentals especially in season, did not the
owners save some of that money for a future need? I would think you
could set aside some money each week to prepare for hurricanes and
overwash considering how close they are to the ocean and how frequently
these events happen.
they were my rental homes, I would be setting aside funds or investing
in long-term CDs, or something rather than just spending it as I
That would make
sense wouldn't it?
I know that flood
insurance is very expensive, so an owner would have to find
all of them. Tear all of them down. Then prosecute
greedy real estate company that sold the Mirlo development to
uninformed out-of-towners. Every local knew this was a true hot spot
when it came to flooding, and it has been that way long before anything
The old Hatteras in
you so much for publishing these old pictures. I have Googled
over the Internet trying to figure out where my family stayed on our
first visit to Hatteras Island in 1970. It was the Cape
Court Motel! That whole beach look is so familiar, even from
childhood. I loved that place. Imagine my shock on
visit in 2008! Absolutely nothing looked familiar, except the
lighthouse. The beach was gone, and the remoteness
had heard in later years that the motel was destroyed. But I
so glad to have known Hatteras Island over 40 years ago.
UPDATED: Mystery of
floating lights over the ocean off Avon is solved
wife and I watched 31 of the lights rise over water in Avon that night.
They were going awfully fast and high across the sky to be lanterns.
Letters to the
Editor....10.21.2011 11:00 am
Thanks for posting! I am the crazy nut with the camera out the window,
filming. We were so excited.
much we appreciate the beauty of the Outer Banks. We’re on the third
generation of love for all of it! You all are amazing in your efforts
to restore the community for yourselves and those who find comfort and
refreshment on the island. Our thanks to all of you for sharing your
bounty with us. See you in 2012.
Thanks for keeping us informed. See you 10/15.
We are so happy to be back in touch with Hatteras. We have
already booked out two weeks for next year.
Glad to see Highway 12 is open again. I think NCDOT should just put a
permanent bridge in place!
Buxton culvert work causes
confusion for motorists and headaches for businesses
wondering why it has taken (so far) seven days, at least 10 guys and
three or four enormous pieces of machinery just to replace one culvert
across narrow little Highway 12.
can reach the Old Gray House Gifts and Shells located on Light Plant
Road also by approaching from the south. We have appreciated
faithful customers that have taken the time to come to us regardless of
Commentary: NPS refusal to drain stormwater is a point of contention
for islanders and visitors
go look at some of the CAHA National Seashore dysfunction that
surrounds us and question their authority. The leadership and all in
headquarters thrive on their personal agendas and not what is good for
the park. Call your elected representatives and make sure they know
this story and all the others.
can't help but believe the problem goes back to before
were camping at the Cape Point campground in July of 2003 and had lots
of rain that week and the campground was very soggy the whole
time. As in our campsite was more like a marsh than a
for nearly half the week.
In years prior (mid-‘90s) I hiked
around the campground and observed apparent drainage canals around the
area, and an apparent "valve" for controlling something related to
it. Just pull up Google satellite maps and browse around and
will see them, although I guess some may be newer as noted in this
article. At any rate, a nearby camper was complaining about
the Park Service wasn't draining the area out like they once had
done. Seemed to make sense considering I had spent a week
every summer for 15-plus years at the same campground in the same week
in July and had never seen standing water like that before.
only exception was when we arrived immediately following hurricane
Bertha back in the ‘90s, and that extreme amount of water went down
very quickly in comparison.
We've been to the area nearly every
year since then, but haven't made back in the summer time to stay at
Cape Point since 2003. Hoping to make it back this summer,
I'm hoping something is done about this so we can camp again at Cape
Point. The in-laws (Their first time camping on the OBX)
comment about "Lake Hatteras." Yes, it was that bad from time to time.
We drove back by the area when we were there this past summer. It was
quite sad to see all the dead trees around.
I feel the state of North Carolina and the people of Hatteras Island
need to take back their land from the NPS.
been coming to the Banks for over 20 years and it is becoming pretty
obvious to me that the NPS and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and other
eco-Nazi groups will not be happy until Hatteras is another Portsmouth
Hatteras Coast Guardsmen spent
countless hours aiding hurricane victims
you, gentlemen, for all of your hard work. Words can’t express our
thanks and gratitude for all the hard work you did. I think we need to
have a banquet for all of you with some home-cooked food and desserts.
If there are some of you who agree with me, let me know and let’s do it
for fire, rescue, Coast Guard, and law enforcement officers.
think The Coast Guard did a wonderful job! Now the Beachbabes from PA
will enjoy coming back to the best place in the world! I hope the
locals know how much we love coming to there homes and businesses!
Thank you for making our lives a lot nicer!
Oh, that’s who those guys were who showed up when I was there with Team
Depot and Operation Blessing. They were awesome!
son, FN Michael Surch, is in the Coast Guard on Hatteras
He told us of all the work that they did and how appreciative everyone
was. We are so proud of him and all of his Coast Guard
woman dies in dive accident off Wrightsville Beach
cannot express the warmth and kind gentle nature of Amy Pieno. Anyone
who knew her loved her, and I loved driving for hours to come dive with
her and Johnny. Their operation, Outer Banks Diving, is top rate and
the customer service is unbeatable. I will miss Amy, but I am grateful
for the happy memories of her.
Our thoughts are with you, Johhny. Sorry I can’t make the services.
Our hearts go out to the Pieno family. Be strong and know God is with
thoughts and prayers go out to the family of Amy at their time of great
loss. Amy Pieno will be truly missed by her family, friends,
the dive community.
were such a veteran diver. I am in such shock. I know you are smiling
down on your family from the big blue ocean above. You will be missed
by many. Rest in Peace, my friend...
A terrible tragedy. Amy brought happiness to many and will be terribly
Thoughts and prayers go out to the kids and family.
Johnny, our deepest sympathies go out to you and your family. A true
Marc and Dina
heard the sad news earlier today about Amy. We dove and had
drinks this summer with Amy and Johnny. Amy was always a
sweetheart and I enjoyed talking to her in the shop on my trips to
God Speed Amy. You will be missed.
Cooking: Hatteras Island Cancer Foundation has an updated edition of
its popular cookbook
am looking for a recipe for Hatteras-style clam chowder. I would
appreciate some guidance for a cookbook title or the recipe. Thanks.
note: The Hatteras Island Cancer Foundation's Cookbook has a
recipe for Hatteras-syle clam chowder. You can order the book
Island Living: Getting back to
normal -- whatever that is
cheering with you from Pennsylvania for every sign that my beloved
Hatteras Island is slowing recovering! My heart aches for all you have
been going through. Prayers are going up for all of you down there. See
you next September when I will be partaking of those fish dinners!
is true! You do feel good inside for that business that is reopening.
And it may not even be a place you have ever patronized. But it is a
sign of normalcy in an un-normal situation. Just as you feel sad for
the businesses that you hear are never going to reopen. It hits you
hard -- another part of the community, our family, is lost forever.
Ocracoke Real Estate:
Moving forward on travel trailers as residences
Thanks, B.J., for putting into words what all of us are feeling.
Pea Island National Wildlife
Refuge is open for business
we have a new inlet on Pea Island and a new bridge, let's name them
after Etheridge, the Pea Island Life-Saving Station captain.
renovated, redecorated, and ready for the rest of its life
am so glad someone purchased this house and restored it to its full
potential. The pictures are awesome. I am originally from Ocracoke, and
several people I know where extras in the movie. I was wondering how
the house fared in the recent storm Irene.
Note: Serendipity was moved out of harm’s way in Mirlo Beach in
January, 2010. It did fine in the hurricane.)
old Hatteras in photographs
are some wonderful pictures. I first came to Rodanthe in
1976. I wish more people would share their collections with
Letters to the
Editor....10.17.2011 11:50 am
just want to thank you and all the members of your staff for keeping us
abreast of all the situations that have arisen in the aftermath of
Hurricane Irene. Many, many times I was able to find out information
from The Island Free Press, in our evacuation spot in Pennsylvania as
well as when we returned, before it was available from government
officials! As a new local who is just learning the ropes, The Island
Free Press has been a lifesaver! Thank you again!
I am so glad. Hats off to the workers. Now the island can start getting
back to normal. See you soon Frank and Fran and Red Drum Tackle. Woohoo!
Colonial Heights, Va.
you NCDOT, NC Ferry Division, and everybody who has helped sustain the
island during this difficult time.
you, thank you, thank you. You islanders are really something.
Brenda and Steve
article and a big thank you to all who were involved in building the
bridge for all your hard work!
big thank you to all the workers for their hard work in building the
bridge and repairing the road in order to get Highway 12 back in
operation! We vacation there and it is my favorite place to go. Plus, I
know how important it is to the residents. Thanks again!
I read this article, I'd been saying to my husband that the people that
did this work should get a bonus, party, etc., because it is amazing
what they have accomplished. I normally hate dump trucks, but these
drivers have been the most courteous people on the road.
you! I hope all these workers know how much they are appreciated. We
are just ordinary citizens that live here. We have no business that
needs the road to be open, but we are really grateful for everything
you have done.
of us on the island, I am certain, will be glad to have Highway 12 open
and to see life for everyone return to normal. A very special
thanks to everyone who has worked so hard on this, and to Pablo, our
is very exciting news! I am amazed by the major
they achieved in just six weeks! Thank you for keeping us all
informed! You're the best!
This is an engineering marvel and a tribute to the tenacity and
creativeness of the inhabitants of the Outer Banks. I have been
visiting and vacationing on Pea Island, and, in particular, staying in
Buxton, for over 30 years. Your spirit and recovery is inspirational. I
you very much to the construction crews of Carolina Bridge Company,
Barnhill, and RPC Contracting for working so hard to restore access to
the island so quickly.
you to the ferry workers for picking up the pace with the extra loads.
I have almost been killed by impatient drivers who pass without
consideration in the area from the Bonner Bridge south through the
refuge, let's lower the speed limit along that section as well. You are
on the island at that point, so slow down and enjoy the scenery!
hat is off to those hard-working folks who are completing the new
bridge. Where else in this country could a bridge of this
built in the time that this one will be? Yahoo!
bless the NCDOT and the bridge crew. Many thanks to all.
to see Highway 12 is open again. I think NCDOT should just put a
permanent bridge in place!
God that it is finally open!
so much for keeping us all so well informed during and after the
hurricane. You did a super job and were a great source of reassurance
for those of us who were not able to be down there to check on our
An amazing feat! We'll be coming down next week, and we can't
wait to get there!
you NCDOT and Governor Bev Perdue. Now maybe they can start planning a
permanent solution for all the problem areas on Hatteras Island.
for all the information and photos provided through this site. It helps
keep us updated on what is happening at the place where we love to
fish. Our thoughts and prayers have been with all the residents there.
Elizabeth City, N.C.
to your really great local newspaper, I've been able to watch the
amazing restoration of Highway 12. Not only is your
coverage of Hatteras affairs complete and timely, but the writing is
always elegant. Thank you.
you, thank you! What an amazing achievement. We all want to
everyone who worked so hard to accomplish this feat in such a short
amount of time.
off to NCDOT! Your hard work is truly appreciated. May this be the
start of a new beginning for our beloved Hatteras Island.
you all for working so hard to get this done. We so appreciate all your
hard work and dedication. It’s so sad that the news did not cover it
all! Thank you again.
We were there one month before Hurricane Irene struck. I am so happy
for all of you down there, especially the locals. It must be wonderful
to have some small sense of normalcy back in your daily lives! See you
to all who made this possible. I can't wait to get down that way and
try out the new bridge.
Cheers to the crews and the county for their great work and to the
islanders for a very speedy recovery.
Stoney Creek, Ontario
God! Thank you to all the men and women who made this happen so quickly!
so happy and excited to see that the bridge is open today! It is truly
a great day for Hatteras Island and it's loyal visitors. Now, the
island folks can get back to their normal lives and the visitors
can—and will—return! Thank you so much to all the hard-working men and
women who worked endless hours to make this happen. I can't wait to
return to your beautiful Island. God bless the people of Hatteras! We
love you all!
think the island should hold one big bash for both the folks from the
electric company and the NCDOT and contractors. Both groups are
absolutely fantastic and accomplish miracles on a regular basis, and
we've never feted them as they deserve. And while we're at it, let's
not forget the ferry workers as well. They also contributed many long
hours to our welfare.
I think a huge island party should be in the works. Thanks NCDOT, CHEC
and NC Ferry Division. You guys are wonderful.
will be down at the end of this month to fish. This is great news.
I'm watching the video, I'm crying happy tears. Thank you NCDOT!
finally. We missed our vacation last week in Waves, but we were able to
find another house in Corolla. It was not the same, and we can't wait
to come back in the spring to enjoy all of the peace and quiet of the
tri-villages. Thanks for all of the great coverage you guys have
provided, and for all of the slideshows that have kept us informed of
the week-to-week progress.
to all those who worked so diligently to make this happen, and to all
of the homeowners and locals, I hope that you all recover quickly and
find minimal damage. God made a piece of heaven in the OBX, and I am
grateful that we can spend our little time on vacation there. God bless
West Deptford, N.J.
Cities Four Wheelers tournament will be Oct. 15-16
for your update on our tournament. We are looking forward to
bringing some people down to the island to jump-start the economy, and
make some donations to help out those in need.
Mosquitoes getting under control; no
more aerial spraying planned
on a job well done! I only wish that you were allowed to spray the
federal lands, which are a big source of mosquitoes in south Nags Head.
Hold off on the helicopter purchase for a while, Dare County, and do
another aerial spray. They're not finished with us yet.
UPDATE: DOT responds to environmental
groups lawsuit over bridge replacement
think that, whatever type of bridge is built, a toll should be placed
on it to help pay for it.
Letters to the
Editor....10.12.2011 2:30 pm
says Highway 12 will reopen no later than Oct. 11
We have a large group planning to stay in Buxton Oct. 14-16 for the
surf-fishing tournament. We really hope Highway
soon. We visit twice a year. We are keeping the
Island residents in our prayers. God bless
We spend a month each spring and fall at Ocean Waves Campground, and
thoroughly enjoy the tri-village area, as well as Avon and
Buxton. We've seen no information on any of the three major
campgrounds, the churches, or the individual businesses and homes.
We've come to know and care about a lot of these folks.
By the way, your photo and interview coverage has been great.
And the construction of that temporary bridge is amazing!
note: We’re sorry there’s been no time to write about
houses, businesses, campgrounds, etc. We will try to do more
this in a few weeks.)
I just wanted to say thank you, Island Free Press, for doing such a
good job keeping us up-to-date on the Highway 12 bridge work. All along
this has been more informative than the news by far. I have sent this
email to my family in Texas, so they can get a clue on what happened
out here. Thanks for the info!
When Highway 12 reopens, travelers can expect delays for a few weeks
You all are doing an awesome job. A big thanks to all.
spraying for mosquitoes planned on Sept. 30
I am a licensed pesticide applicator, and I just read the MSDS sheet on
the Dibrom that they are using. I just want to know why they can't use
Sevin (carbaryl), which is a lot less harmful to the environment but
still kills mosquitoes. I have never used Dibrom in any application,
but just from reading the MSDS, it looks like some pretty harmful stuff.
It's nice to know that if you're staying on Ocracoke, Hyde County might
spray tonight or tomorrow night or some other time if the weather's not
right. Thanks for the inexact info, Hyde County.
that I have learned about Hyde County, by being forced to take the Swan
Quarter ferry, is why Ocracoke wanted to secede. I have
extensively across the U.S. in my 60 years, and I don't think I've ever
come across another county seat that has less in it; there’s not even a
place to eat.
You should report on how the government is fooling the public into
thinking this pesticide (Dibrom) is safe! Do a simple
search on Dibrom, and you will see study after study showing that this
is a carcinogen—causing liver damage, neurological damage,
The public is soothed by hearing that it is not "toxic," but all that
means is that the poison application itself will not immediately kill
you. It doesn't mean that people or pets are safe from
harm! Pets are especially affected, because they absorb
pesticides through their paw pads when walking on the street and
grass. They also sniff very closely to the ground, inhaling
pesticides. Pesticides are the number one reason why there is
much cancer in our dogs. I can't believe people were "liking"
your post about this on Facebook. They are being led to
this is safe. I am extremely upset that I will be staying in
County for the next three days with my dogs—one of whom just had her
fifth cancer surgery—before heading up to Corolla. Disgusted.
GAP: Asphalt is underway and pilings completed for Highway 12
VERY impressive work by NCDOT and the others involved. Thanks for the
continual updates. You do a great job of keeping everyone informed.
Thank you, Don, for the aerials. They give us the slightest
of hope that the road might actually open by the Oct. 9. The forecast
is calling for good weather up through next Monday. Let's
stays that way. If only they could get the asphalt delivered
around the clock…
Thank you so much. We appreciate these updates and all the information
relating to our Oct. 8-16 stay in Rodanthe.
We’re thankful, for all of you, that good weather is helping. God bless
and stay safe.
West Lawn, Pa.
We've been wondering why a bridge was built over the New New Inlet, but
after Isabel, the Isabel Inlet was filled-in and the road was
rebuilt. We'd like to know the “why’s.” If anybody reading
knows we'd appreciate your sending us an email. Thanks!
note: The temporary bridge in the Highway 12 right-of-way was
most expedient way to deal with this inlet in the Pea Island National
Thank you for the roadwork being done. My wife and I spend two weeks on
Roanoke Island every other year and we were there shortly after Irene.
Our trip to Ocracoke and Portsmouth was postponed. Hopefully, we will
go on our next visit.
Great video! Thanks for sharing!
Many thanks to all who are working so hard to get things connected down
there. It has been heartbreaking seeing these pictures over the past
few weeks, but many, many thanks to Mr. Bowers for sharing them with
all of us who live so far away. We have checked daily, here in Ohio, to
see what has happened on the island. Thanks to the Island Press for
being there, too. Our thoughts are with everyone. Is there an address
where we can send donations for food?
We missed our vacation in Rodanthe (Sept. 23-Oct. 8) this year because
of Hurricane Irene and damage to Highway 12. Don Bowers
be nominated for a photojournalism award for the
wonderful pictures he has provided for your articles on the
aftermath of Hurricane Irene. Thank you for all the
you have provided to keep us updated. Looking forward to
next year, "come hell or high water" (no pun intended)!
manager sets the record straight on Highway 12 repairs on Pea Island
The actions of the refugee manager were interesting, but I was hoping
to see a projected completion date and reopening of the highway, since
this report is dated Sept. 27, 2011. Thanks.
GAPS: Mother Nature is not cooperating with repair efforts on Highway 12
I can't wait until the road is complete. We love Buxton and can't wait
to come back for a fall visit. God bless all those working on the
bridge and the road, and all those living on Hatteras, waiting on us
(the tourists) to return.
GAPS: Storms slow work a bit, but reinforcements arrive
So, this may have been covered before, but is the New New Inlet going
to be left alone or will it be filled in by man? Is this going to be a
temporary bridge until a permanent bridge can be constructed?
note: The North Carolina Department of Transportation is
on a long-range plan for the “hot spots” on Highway 12 and expects to
have it completed in fewer than five years. The temporary
will be there for a while.)
updates re-entry information for Rodanthe, Waves, and Salvo visitors
While I understand the economic pressure, the decision to open the
southern villages to tourists before the road was ready has created
havoc. It has to rank in the top ten stupidest decisions made by public
Who is responsible for this?
back reopening tri-villages until after Oct. 10
Wow, I hope the rental companies are doing the right thing by the
people that cannot make it to their rentals due to the lack of ferries.
It sounds like the insurance companies are up to their regular
I am a visitor with various ferry reservations both coming and
going. None are termed "mandatory" per the above
there any chance I could get to the ferry and be turned away?
note: You won’t be turned away if you have reservations.)
The Outer Banks still remains the best-kept secret on the East Coast.
So, folks may have to wait a little longer to visit, but it will
definitely be worth their wait. I promise.
I am saddened for the renters and owners. This is a very hard
time for you all, and my prayers are with you. With what I
tell though, the NCDOT is doing extraordinary work in getting Highway
12 back open. I salute the workers and their
I hope the bridge is completed and the road reopened by Oct. 14. We are
supposed to come down for fishing tournament, but I don't want to ride
the ferry for three or four hours.
The North Carolina Commissioner of Insurance, Wayne Goodwin, should
force the companies that sell travel insurance to his state to refund
vacationers who have reservations in ANY of the villages, whether
reachable by ferry or not. If these areas are filled to
and another storm or other emergency arises, nobody can get
It would be comparable to a Katrina situation. We don't need
Does anyone know if the reopening of the road is dependent on the
reopening of the tri-villages? In other words, if the state had been
able to finish the road by the Oct. 8, but Dare County Emergency
Management closed the tri-villages until Oct. 20, would NCDOT keep the
road closed until the 20th as well?
note: The tri-villages will open when the highway does.)
Gov. Beverly Perdue visits
Hatteras to talk with hurricane victims
My family lives on Hatteras, and we visited often, until
am so proud of Don and Anne Bowers who kept us informed up here. They
are an asset to your team and to all residents of Hatteras Island, as
well as to those of us who cherish it.
Once again, another politician arriving at a disaster scene! I fail to
understand why they cannot just stay in their offices and stay out of
the way. Allow the folks whose jobs are to deal with disasters do their
work. Politicians on disaster scenes merely divert resources away from
the actual problem – not to mention the costs associated with their
photo-ops. There are already funding issues much larger than Irene
recovery, both on a state and national level. A helicopter and crew to
bring someone who can't actually do anything to a disaster scene is a
hugely wasteful expenditure. The least Bev Perdue could have done was
use ground transportation.
Did anyone tell Governor Perdue that the residents of Hatteras Island
are used to and capable of coping with natural disasters, but the
man-made disaster that is NPS's “Plan F” will be the straw that broke
the camel's back?
I’m really happy to see the governor assessing the situation and
helping out, but it doesn’t end there. I have been spending two or
three weeks a year on Hatteras for over 20 years. And for 20 years, I
have been purchasing the hurricane insurance. Like so many others, I am
having big issues with the insurance and rental companies. Who’s
looking into that and helping the tourists?
How I spent my summer evacuation
I love reading Joy's articles. It's just like being right there with
her as she writes. We met her as a small child and she's been so
special all her life! She's very good at what she does. Take care and
keep on entertaining us.
Island Living: Attack of the Kinnakskeeters
Great article! Some do not understand the many residual effects of
storms, which go far beyond the irreparable damage incurred; even the
tiny mosquito can render clean-up efforts an unbearable task. As though
picking up the pieces of your home, your life weren't bad enough, here
comes that infernal “bzzzzzzz”.
This native Dare Countian appreciates the humor and grit of the folks
back home, who have endured the hardships of Irene and can still make a
joke. I’ve been there, done that, and I miss my homeland more
than I can convey.
I just want to know who has the job of counting the “skeeters” in the
I thoroughly enjoyed your commentary on the sweet, loving, flying,
man-eating, buzzards that you so described as the “kinnaskeeter”! I say
we start taking orders for bats, praying mantises, and frogs to do the
That was so funny!
Get a ThermaCell at Wal-Mart or some other store. You'll be glad you
Oh my, you are so funny. I have never laughed so hard, and
knows we need laughs right now! Feel free to come up to the free market
in Waves; we would love to meet you, and you would sure liven the
rescue of Hatteras waterman follows annual blessing of the fleet
I have chills after reading this incredible story about Van Druten's
near death experience in his boat. How amazing that the accident
happened so soon after the blessing of the fleet, and what a blessing
that other fishermen were nearby to get help for Van Druten. I would
say this fellow has certainly received a huge blessing. I hope Van
Druten will have a speedy recovery. God must have important plans still
on earth for this tall fisherman. Excellent reporting, Island Free
Glad you’re OK, Bill.
Many thanks to the young heroes who acted quickly and appropriately and
saved our good friend. They are truly heroes and we are all
is preparing to implement ORV rule
An effort needs to be made to get the federal government out of the OBX
and have the state of North Carolina take over the park!
killed and three injured in crash on closed Highway 12
I’m so sorry to hear this news. My condolences go out to the families
involved. Gary will be truly missed. Tia and Danielle, I hope you are
better soon. Please let me know if there is anything I can do.
We are so very sorry for the loss of Gary Midgett. We always enjoyed
eating at the Hot Tuna when we were on the island. He was always a
super nice guy and will be missed.
Our prayers and thoughts are with the Midgett family.
So, so sad for all involved. Such a huge loss for the Midgett family!
I was very saddened to hear about Gary. I have known Gary for many
years, as I had a trailer in Tuttle's Trailer Park for a while. He was
a friend to everyone he met. Gary will be missed by many. I am so sorry
he is not with us anymore. I miss him. He will watch over his friends
and family on the Outer Banks. Goodbye, my friend.
responds to environmental groups lawsuit over bridge replacement
Can we put people first, for onceDelays will only put us in further
peril, since the Bonner Bridge is already way past its shelf life!
What's it going to take for you tree huggers to wake up? Another bridge
collapse like the one in Minneapolis?
Letters to the
Editor....10.03.2011 9:30 am
Really Free Market is aiding all islanders in need
First off, thank you for the service you and your Island Free Press
team have provided to your readers during the post-Irene recovery
Speaking for myself, I find your journalism top-notch and have been a
reader for a number of years.
Your publication provides a valuable service not only to the residents
of Dare County but also to folks like myself, who, over the years, have
been fortunate to have cultivated a personal relationship with Hatteras
Island and its residents.
We completely understand the impact Irene has had on the folks that
call the island home.
Now, almost a month later, Irene is a distant memory and another
forgotten headline to most.
But, to many island residents, it is a continuing struggle to survive
Though no one can be certain what outcome awaits, my respect and
admiration remains unwavering as I read of the courage and resiliency
exhibited by those whose lives have been turned upside down.
My wife and I own a home in Salvo and are among the many anxiously
awaiting the completion of Highway 12.
Our last trip down was in mid-August. In a sense, not knowing what
awaits us provides a certain discomfort, but your reporting has been
instrumental in keeping us updated and informed.
Though current circumstances prevent me from providing in-person
assistance, I would greatly appreciate your suggestions regarding what
I could do to provide some support from afar.
Thanks for taking the time to read this and hopefully your busy
schedule might provide an opportunity for a reply.
I would like to send a donation to help with recovery from Irene’s
aftermath. My husband and I have been visiting for the past six years
and do not want to lose Hatteras. Can you provide me with an address
where I can securely send a donation?
Thanks, Irene for printing this very important story. From the
information you provide, I'm sending a check and a USPS flat-rate
priority box (if it fits it ships) full of needed items to the
Really Really Free Market. Please give us updates. I would also like to
ask all the Northern Virginia vacationers that visit the OBX each year
to please send a box and check
note: Readers who want to help can go to http://islandfreepress.org/2011Archives/09.23.2011-ReallyReallyFreeMarketIsAidingAllIslandersInNeed.html for an
article on The Really, Really Free Market in Waves.)
BRIDGING THE GAPS: Mother Nature is not
cooperating with repair efforts on Highway 12
Awesome job. My hat is off to all the hard workers, and my heart is
heavy for all the residents who have lost so much. My husband and I
have donated money for aid.
BRIDGING THE GAPS: High seas from
Katia suspended road work Thursday night
Thanks for the slide shows and the status updates. I love Hatteras and
have been going there since I was born. Actually I was conceived
there. I don't own a house down there, but I do love the
and the people. Islanders, take care and God bless.
BRIDGING THE GAPS: DOT update on
Highway 12 repairs
I have a trip planned for Nov. 2-7 to Ocracoke Island. Will
Highway 12 be open so that I can drive down to the Hatteras-Ocracoke
ferry? I'm coming from Maryland.
note: The North Carolina Department of Transportation has said that
Highway 12 on Hatteras Island will open in early October. Island Free
Press will continue to report on the progress of repairs.)
I am in the business of serving municipal and DOT customers, and I just
have to say that the NCDOT group in charge of the Highway 12 efforts is
the absolute best that I have encountered in 40 years. It is hard to
beat the dedication of public works personnel, and the NCDOT group
exemplifies the best of the best. Kudos to this hard working, dedicated
I would be very interested to see an aerial view of what they have
accomplished. It is so hard to get any perspective on just
much work they have actually completed. I hope someone throws a party
for the contracting firms doing this work when it is done. I would
contribute toward it, just as I will contribute to the recovery funds.
I’m from Wilmington. I have been a visitor to the OB since 1958 and a
Buxton property owner since 1960. I cannot believe that the Bonner
Bridge wasn't replaced a decade ago—erected approximately where the
present bridge is—and that a raised roadway down Hatteras Island, to
the ferry landing, hasn't even been contemplated. How much money and
concern would be spared if these two features were constructed right
Incidentally, why don't the local newspapers inform at length about the
progress toward fixing, even if temporarily, the present bridge?
note: The local papers have written extensively about the efforts to
replace and repair the current Bonner Bridge for the past 20
years.. You can check out the Island Free Press Archives,
is towards the bottom of the front page, to see what has been reported
in the past four years.)
Post Hurricane Irene information
and news travels slowly to islanders
So sorry to see this. I have been coming to the OBX (staying in Avon)
each summer for many years. God bless.
FERRY UPDATE: Ocracoke residents
and vendors to have priority
I understand and agree that there is a need for priorities, but I have
to wonder when it comes time to use my reservation on the Oct. 15, will
I actually be able to get on the ferry? And if not, how long
my family, including my 1-year-old, sit in the truck waiting? So long
that there are no other ferries running that day? Do I then drive 400
miles home? I guess I get stuck with getting a room somewhere.
How is this going to be handled for tourists who already have
reservations? I am very surprised that the article does not
address that issue.
People who are making reservations on ferries and then not showing up,
so that the ferries are then crossing not full, should have to pay a
$1,000 fee to the Hatteras Island relief fund. There is no penalty for
making many reservations and preventing someone else from catching a
ferry they need.
Does this mean visitors with reservations will be bumped for residents
who don’t have them? Shouldn't the NCDOT have war-gamed this
scenario and been better and more consistently prepared? There sure
does seem to be an awful lot of waffling and backtracking going on, and
that’s not good for residents or visitors.
What is not clear is, if you are a visitor with a reservation, could
you be bumped? It's sure implied, but it should be
Hamilton (aka Salvo Jimmy)
note: The Ferry Division will not be bumping travelers with
Irene, you are doing a great job. Thank you. I just wanted to
chime in and say that the ferry workers told me that people who take
the ferry for "fun trips"—to go shopping or "just to get off the
island"—are taking the place of someone who really needs the space on
the ferry. Please think before you go on an unnecessary ferry
Emergency medical team helped
islanders for six days
Upon initially reading this article I was a little offended, but then
realized that it was a perfect chance to help inform the folks on
Hatteras exactly what it is that we do. By "we," I mean my co-workers
at Dare County Emergency Medical Services (DCEMS) and I. The line,
"given the magnitude of the long-term damage caused by Hurricane Irene,
islanders would have lacked basic medical care without the wonderful
and caring individuals who came to Hatteras during this time of need,”
is what caught my attention.
While I am sure there was no malicious intent meant, let me take just a
few minutes to explain what medical care was available to islanders
during this time of need. On Friday, Aug. 26, at approximately 3 p.m.,
a team of five, two-person crews—two in Frisco, two in Avon, and one in
Rodanthe—were put into place on "storm duty." When put into place on
this duty, crews are told to come to work completely self-sufficient
for a period of at least 72 hours, as we are never sure how long we
will have to work before relief crews will be able to get to the
island. All five of these crews contained at least one paramedic and
one EMT or EMT-Intermediate.
These crews provided ambulance response to emergency calls until the
winds reached 50-mph sustained speed, at which time county policy calls
for the ambulances to stop responding until the winds fall below that
level for the safety of the crews in them.
However, the fact that we were not able to put the ambulances on the
road, that did not mean that we were not able to care for people if
they could be brought to us or if we could gain access to them in some
other manner. In fact, the crew in Rodanthe, who were bunkered in the
RWS water plant for their safety, did continually care for at least two
injured people throughout the night on Saturday, until they could be
evacuated by a medical helicopter on Sunday morning. And this was
without an ambulance, as it was flooded in the station at the Rodanthe
As soon as the conditions allowed for it on Sunday morning, the various
crews went out in the areas where they were stationed and began to
evaluate damages to their surroundings. Well before the SORT team was
in place Sunday night, our crews provided everything from advanced life
support to very basic first-aid for the islanders. There was never a
lapse in medical coverage on the island, even without our resident
physicians here. As a matter of fact, in the 14 1/2 years that I have
worked for DCEMS there has never been a time when multiple crews have
not been available during an emergency.
In the past, ambulances have been flooded and various pieces of
equipment have been ruined in the process of providing medical care to
those on the island during hurricanes and nor'easters.
During Irene, the initial crews stayed on duty until Sunday night, when
the last patient was flown off the island at 9 p.m. and they could be
relieved by four crews of fresh and rested replacements. Some of those
initial crewmembers live north of the bridge and were unable to find
any information on their own homes, while they listened to reports of
the terrible flooding happening in their neighborhoods. The other
members of those crews, who live here on the island, may have been able
to go by and at least make sure their houses were still standing on
As for myself, it was approximately 11 p.m. on Sunday before I was able
to start doing anything to my house, including getting a generator
going for my refrigerators and freezers and starting to clean up from
the foot of water that flooded my garage and the storage area under the
house. Emergency crews on Hatteras Island are now working 48-hour
shifts, instead of our usual 24-hour ones, because of the difficulty of
transporting new crews to the island every 24 hours. But we are glad to
do what must be done to continue to provide the level of emergency care
that the people of Hatteras Island are used to. I am proud to say that
I work with some of the best and most well trained EMS providers in
eastern North Carolina, if not in the whole state. So, as you can see,
there was much more than just "basic medical care" available throughout
the length of the storm. Not to take anything away from the SORT
team—as we were very glad to see them in place and have enjoyed working
alongside them. They were excellent and a huge asset to the island, and
I certainly hope to see them return the next time they are needed.
Thank you for the excellent and timely coverage of the storm and the
issues facing our community in the time that is now being spent
recovering from this disaster.
County updates re-entry information for Rodanthe, Waves, and Salvo
I called the county emergency management phone number on Sept. 27,
wondering if it would be possible catch the Stumpy Point ferry so that
my wife and I could go to Rodanthe and then travel to Avon. I explained
to the lady that my wife was a caregiver and that my mother-in-law and
father-in-law had Alzheimer’s and dementia, and my brother-in-law, who
is caring for them, had a lot on his plate. I told the lady I spoke
with that my wife hasn't seen her mother in three weeks, and that
caring for her is a burden on my brother-in-law’s wife, because she has
two kids and two grandchildren to take care of as well.
I was not pleasant and neither was this lady. She said she lost her
house and her two cars, plus she had to go to work. I told her that I
have to work and my wife does as well.
I can understand a lot of things, and I can go along with certain
situations, and I do agree that I am bull-headed at certain times. I
understand that the woman I spoke with was under some stress, but I
also feel that this transaction could have gone smoother, on her part
as well as mine
I would be lost with out you.
joins tourism board in urging county to revisit decision on visitors
For the past 15 years we have had the pleasure of vacationing on
Hatteras Island in September. I deal with a tremendous amount of stress
at my job, and those two weeks each year are heavenly. Each year, I
have paid for the trip insurance, just in case something might happen,
and fortunately, I have never needed to use it until this year. And now
I have become aware that I may lose close to $2,000 because of
decisions made by the county commissioners. I know it is nothing
compared to the losses on Hatteras, but I work hard for my income, and
I can’t just blow off that kind of money. No one is giving me
answers—not the realtor, not the owner, and not the insurance company.
North Carolina law may offer protection, but Pennsylvania law would
look at this as a deceptive or fraudulent business practice. I just ask
that the commissioners do the right thing for all involved.
UPDATE: Emergency Stumpy
Point-Rodanthe ferry resumes operations
My husband and I are among the residents who evacuated on Friday, Aug.
26, before the hurricane hit. We were fortunate to be able to
stay with our daughter in Fredericksburg, Va. I cannot believe the
county commissioners found it necessary to keep us from our home for 11
days, but considered the foreign students who work at the
Food Lion to be "essential personnel" and allowed them to return after
only four days. So, the commissioners believed cleaning up Food Lion,
using the foreign students, was more important than allowing those of
us whose homes needed immediate attention to return.
left homeless on Hatteras are living a nomadic lifestyle
I have a two-bedroom, completely furnished mobile home in Frisco that
will be empty from Nov. 1 until April 1. I will be coming to
Hatteras for three weeks on Oct. 5. If anyone is interested
renting this from November to April, or at any point during that time
period, they can contact me at 518-584-4737 or on my cell phone at
518-316-1424. It has a washer and dryer and small dogs are
welcome. There is a pond on the lot, so small children would
be advisable. Please contact me if you know of anyone that
looking for a reasonable place to live.
God be with you all.
We have come to Hatteras for vacation for the last 10 years. We will be
in Avon the week of Oct. 10. If there is anything we can do
help while we are there, please let me know. I can swing a hammer.
Refuge manager sets the record
straight on Highway 12 repairs on Pea Island
How far south on Highway 12 can people travel? Can we still go to the
Bodie Island area and beaches? Many of us have had to change rental
plans and only get updates from The Island Free Press. I hope the
weather improves for everyone working under such difficult
circumstances. God bless. Our prayers continue for all. Take care.
East Lawn, Pa.
note: Highway 12 is open to the Bonner Bridge. Yes,
you can get to the Bodie Island area.)
"Bryant gave immediate verbal approval for NCDOT to do whatever work
was necessary to repair the road within its existing highway
right-of-way on Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge"
Heaven forbid they approve anything outside of the right-of-way for the
sake of the island residents.
It's late in the game, and they are trying to save face in light of the
fact they are the main reason for so many of the frustrations on the
Outer Banks. Let's see Mike Bryant fighting to restore full access to
ORVs, then he might gain some credibility.
My family and I have been going to the Outer Banks since 1964. It seems
like the more the federal government gets involved with or has control
of, the worse things get. Wow.
As always, great reporting. And, while I understand and
appreciate what this federal employee is saying, his tone is very much
typical of a "king of the hill" bureaucrat. After dealing
these types through a recent flood and tornado, I'm a bit fed up with
their "kingdom of federalism" tones. As the kids would say,
Island Cooking: Dolphin Days
Awesome explanation about dolphin/mahi-mahi! I love the
and the photographs are amazing. Makes me so hungry!
Search is on for kiteboarder
missing off Cape Hatteras
Please keep the public informed on what happened to AJ. What could have
caused such a loss, for his family as well as the Hatteras community?
My husband has taken up kiteboarding, and I fear something like this
happening every time he goes out.
This article is vague. Was he kiteboarding alone? Who called for help?
When he was on the shoals yelling for help, why did help not come? Why
such a long delay? This is very sad.
My thoughts and prayers are with Jackson and his family. I pray for his
safe return and for peace of mind for his family and friends.