to the Editor
Letters to the
Editor....09.26.2011 12:30 pm
Hurricane Irene information and news travels slowly to islanders
I truly was not aware that the devastation was so great over your way.
The damage in the section of Southern Shores where I live was
inconsequential in comparison. I am grateful to the photographer and
the Island Free Press for making this collection available. Those of us
who were spared this kind of loss should be grateful indeed.
God knows when, or if, all of us will have to face "the big one," but
what you have been through is close enough. My prayers are
you and my heart goes out to those among you who have lost not only
their homes but their livelihood as well.
BRIDGING THE GAPS: DOT
Highway 12 update
Videos posted on YouTube would bring instant success to your site. Your
pictures are excellent as are your articles. Keep up the good work.
BRIDGING THE GAPS: Mother Nature
is not cooperating with repair efforts on Highway 12
I voiced my opinion right after Hurricane Irene that a second bridge
should be built at the S-curves area instead of trying to fill it in as
has been tried many times in the past. This area has been designated a
"hot spot" area for decades. I remember putting Christmas trees in the
dunes in that area in the early 1990s, before the road was even moved.
Wouldn't it make more sense, since we have FEMA funding, to go for the
second bridge now, instead of wasting all this sand and money?
Remember, we're not even in nor’easter season yet. I hope someone
budgeted additional funding for Highway 12 road maintenance between
Avon and the S-curves, due to the number of heavy dump trucks hauling
sand (over 2,300 so far) on Highway 12. I believe this section was
completely repaved two or three years ago. The volume and weight of
these trucks has to be taking a toll on the road. Is it too late to
consider a second bridge?
Godspeed! I would love to come down at the end of October to spend some
money and go fishing. God bless all!
Under the circumstances, these workers are doing a great job.
Hats off to them.
tourism board in urging county to revisit decision on visitors
By opening up the island, the county has stopped the business
interruption insurance that many businesses need to make up for the
lack of income caused by Irene. Petty politics trump common sense once
again. The unemployment payments do not end in February, they
in March, but, nevertheless, without the employers, no one has a job.
Anyone with half a brain can see the island is not ready for visitors.
More harm than good will come of it. Good luck to all fellow islanders.
God helps those who help others.
The Chamber's stance in this regard is understandable if you look at
where the majority of its business members are located (i.e., off
Hatteras Island). They stand to recover their own losses more
quickly if visitors rebook on the northern beaches, and, in fact, Dare
County has recommended to visitors that they do so. We may
Dare County citizens and businesses, but self-interest, once again,
trumps the policy of a shared burden. The chamber should be
ashamed of itself, but, of course, it is not. It represents
that is wrong with the U.S. these days.
CORRECTION: Visitors to southern
Hatteras can still enter by ferry -- and make reservations
We are sympathetic to Hatteras Island’s needs and want to cooperate.
However, the number of Hatteras Island visitors has overwhelmed the
available ferry capacity for Ocracoke, interrupting our staple and
supply delivery, the mail service, our personal and semi-urgent
off-island travel needs, as well as our visitors’ travels to the
Mr. Outten's delegation of visitor traffic control to the ferry system
reservation office is Kafkaesque, not really a decision at all and very
irresponsible of him. Of course people can't move through Ocracoke
without a ferry reservation. That's the problem.
He should have heeded the council resolution of Sept. 15.
Thank you for your coverage of this storm and the aftermath, as well as
other events and news from the islands. Your site is the only
I know of to get current information and updates. It is really
appreciated here in central North Carolina.
Are reservations mandatory for the free ferry from Ocracoke to Hatteras?
Alum Bank, Pa.
I'd like to see a story on the impact on Ocracoke from the sound
ferries being used to get to Hatteras.
So what constitutes mandatory, and how do I know my reservations are
"good"? I made reservations online a week ago to travel to and from
Ocracoke in mid-October. Is the receipt considered a “mandatory”
It sounds like Dare County has been reading SELC's press releases for
so long that they're starting to talk them, too.
I would like to first express my sincerest concern for all who were
affected by Hurricane Irene.
I would also like to express that we would greatly appreciate a
reconsideration of the ferry access determination.
Would you please advise me when Highway 12 is open? We have
reservations; however, an update directly from you would be very
note: You can be sure that when Highway 12 opens, you will read it
first in the Island Free Press. Stay tuned.)
Irene Aftermath ferry updates
I heard a rumor today that, after getting onto Hatteras Island from
Stumpy Point, you can't get back that way because they have road blocks
on Highway 12 northbound, and only the full-time residents are allowed
to pass. Is there any truth to this? As a
property owner, does this mean I have to leave Avon and go south, from
Hatteras to Ocracoke and then from Ocracoke to Swan Quarter to get off
the island? This makes no sense to me! I hope this
note: Yes, this is just a rumor. It is not true.)
I took the Stumpy Point ferry at 6:30 p.m. yesterday, and there was
space for three more cars. It was a pleasant ride with
people. They told me that late afternoon is the best time to
from Stumpy Point—that the chance of delays is highest in the morning
if you’re going to the island, and in the late afternoon if you’re
How can I get clothing and other needs to the people in Avon? My father
was born and raised there. Thanks.
note: The best way is to work through Cape Hatteras United
Methodist Men. Cash donations are welcome. The address is
Box 1591, Buxton, NC 27920.)
Many Ocracoke businesses are unhappy with
Dare’s visitor re-entry decision
I also have to wonder how many of the folks who planned to visit
Ocracoke now cannot, due to the overbooked ferries. My
had planned to head that way this week and camp at the Park Service
campground. They have some flexibility, since they don’t need
come and go over the weekend, but they don’t have a lot. They
were hoping to catch a Friday afternoon ferry to Ocracoke, but it was
booked solid until Monday, which would have required them to leave on
Wednesday evening or catch the 7 a.m. ferry on Thursday, rather than on
traveling on Friday or Saturday. Instead, they are planning
stay at Oregon Inlet, but they are leaving their options open and could
end up elsewhere.
We are some of the many people that will be coming through Ocracoke to
vacation on Hatteras Island. Our family has been vacationing on the
island for more than 20 years, and although this trip is going to be a
little different as far as our journey to the island is concerned, we
so look forward to still coming.
I do sympathize with the situation that the vendors and vacationers on
Ocracoke are going through, but would they not welcome the income from
the many visitors that are going to pass through the island? I know we
always visit Ocracoke when we come down and everyone is always so nice.
Which is why we keep coming back. But if we feel like we aren't
welcome, which is kind of how this article has made me feel, then other
people may feel the same way. So keep smiling, keep the faith, and
everything will work out!
It sounds like people on Ocracoke, such as the owners of the Back Porch
and others, do not want our business, even though we have been giving
it to them for over 35 years. Thank you.
Seems like a guy with a boat could make a lot of money down
there. I not sure I understand the over-dependence on the
system. Get a boat and shuttle to the mainland.
Oceanfront house falls into ocean
this morning at Mirlo Inlet
How's the Black Pearl doing?
note: The Black Pearl is still standing.)
Progress on repairing Highway 12
is going blazing fast
Thanks for Don Bowers’ great photos! I'm finally able to really see the
damage Irene has caused. The slide show is wonderful but sad,
serves a reminder that Mother Nature is always ultimately in charge!
Hooray for the people who are working to put things back together, if
only temporarily. Those guys are obviously pros with plenty
My parents started coming to Buxton in the 1970s. When a
hurricane took out the Lighthouse View Motel, we moved north and our
changing family has been renting houses in Avon since the mid-
1990s. Our family week on the Outer Banks is a highlight of
When we hear about the terrible storms and loss of property, my first
thoughts are of the people who live on Hatteras Island year
round. Then I start wondering if we'll be able to go
This could be the first year that we have to ferry from Swan Quarter or
Cedar Island to Ocracoke, then ferry to Hatteras and drive up to
Avon. We're glad we got in right under the wire with ferry
reservations! But maybe these guys will have the road back in shape,
and the new, temporary steel bridge will be completed so that we can
cancel those ferry reservations! I love the drive down Highway 12, but
however we get to the island will be just fine.
Good luck to all you folks on the Outer Banks. I hope we'll
be enjoying your Hatteras-style clam chowder soon!
rumor mill was overactive during the hurricane, sheriff’s office says
The SORT team was a tremendous asset to the people of Hatteras Island.
My question is, who is on Hatteras Island’s Emergency Operations
I am upset that you consider my returning to my home by personal means
to be “sneaking.” I am upset that I was not permitted to
my home on my own in a timely manner. I am upset that the
government is determining what I am able to do. My home was
and livable during and after the storm. I do not need
to survive and had ample food and water for many days. I only left
because of a medical emergency for my mother. Trust me, I will
never leave again. The watermen in this community are able to navigate
unmarked channels and debris. You did not mention that you
them from their jobs and prevented them from helping us return to our
homes and get supplies on our own. The people in this
are very independent and self-sufficient. Don't put
government sanctions on them during the next storm.
Tropical storm and coastal low could have an
impact on temporary power lines
Any news regarding services being returned to Salvo or estimates of
when the highway to this area will be repaired? Many, many thanks.
I e-mailed the emergency staff of Dare County a week ago, requesting an
explanation for the logic of visitor reopening. In my email I
mentioned the strong possibility of adverse weather conditions, as well
as the ferry dilemma. I sent a carbon copy to the governor’s
I never received an answer from Dare County, but I have been in contact
with the governor’s office.
Later this week I read that a big reason for the visitor re-entry was
unemployment benefits and the economy.
It’s pretty obvious where Dare County stands on public safety!
Permanent bulkheads and a permanent bridge should be built at “New New
Inlet.” Yes, it's a more expensive solution, but it will be a better
solution in the long run. Pea Island is an island once more. Leave it
Division adds two runs to help visitors return to Hatteras
Are there plans to run additional Ocracoke to Hatteras ferries? With
the additional Cedar Island and Swan Quarter ferries, the last Cedar
Island ferry will arrive in Ocracoke at 8:15 p.m., and the last Swan
Quarter ferry will arrive at 9:30 p.m. The last ferries to Hatteras are
at 9 and 11 p.m. With the capacity differences, that could leave up to
40 vehicles stranded for the night. And that’s not including the
residual backups that will accumulate during the day.
note: There are no plans to run late ferries at Hatteras
If you’re bringing a boat to Ocracoke, you might be out of luck. I
booked two weeks ago and had to take what was left—from Swan Quarter to
Ocracoke at 4:30 p.m. and from Ocracoke to Swan Quarter at 6:30
a.m. I'm not complaining, but we loose half a day going there
half a day leaving. Just wanted to let other fisherman know not to wait
to the last minute or you will not get a ferry. This reservation is for
Oct. 8 through 15.
can return to southern Hatteras villages on Thursday, Sept. 15
Who in their right mind decided to let vacationers back onto
Hatteras? There is no way the island and homes are ready to
You have to be kidding. While my thoughts and prayers go out to all
those on Hatteras Island who have suffered at the hands of Mother
Nature, my wrath is heaved upon the county and state governments of
North Carolina. My family and I are from New Jersey and were
scheduled to arrive on Sept. 23 for a wonderful, weeklong vacation in
Avon. We now find out that all the ferries are booked, there
be limited services available, and even after securing insurance on our
rental property we will not be reimbursed for a cancellation—nor will
we be relocated to another rental property farther north.
If this is the end result of a long planned vacation, you can be sure
that we will never set foot on the Outer Banks again. It's
of like getting a very bad meal in a restaurant—you can be sure that at
least 100 other people will hear about it.
Search is on for kiteboarder
missing off Cape Hatteras
I'm a very good friend of Charles Jackson’s from Houston and would like
to be informed when he is found.
AJ was a good friend of mine. I’m sorry to hear about this. Yes, he was
a very good kite surfer. I helped him many times with his kites. The
kiting world is abuzz about him. I’m sure his passing hit a lot of
people. He will be sorely missed at kiting fests around
RIP my friend.
Praying for a safe return for Mr. Jackson, and will keep his family in
my prayers, also. God bless those searching for him and keep
safe out there.
He is the most experienced kiter that I have ever met! Charles, come
back to us.
I am one of AJ's many kiting friends from Canada. We are deeply
saddened by the news of this tragedy. Do you have any new updates or
news? We are all hoping and praying for a miracle, please send any
Park Service is preparing to
implement ORV rule
I have been going to your beaches seven to 10 times a year for 46
years, enjoying surf fishing and talking to locals and friends that I
have met there over the years. I go even with all the costs of getting
there, staying there, and buying bait and tackle, food, and other
things. I don't mind paying for a beach-driving permit to use the
beaches, but I hope they will think about all the money people
already spend just to get there when they put a price on the permits.
Please don't close the beaches. My husband and I have been
to Hatteras Island for over 25 years and recently bought a second home
in Buxton. We love it and we hope to live there full time
retire. My husband retired last year due to health
This past summer we had relatives visit us from Kentucky, Wisconsin,
Pennsylvania, and Indiana. They loved the place.
Due to my
husband's health issues (he needs a constant supply of oxygen), the
only way he can enjoy the beach is by driving out there. He
never be able to make the walk in his condition. This summer
loaded his oxygen tank and were able to enjoy the beauty of the
beach. I can't wait until Christmas, when we can get back to
beach. And then we will go again for a week during the spring. And what
I really look forward to each year is the three months we spend there
in the summer. Please don't close the beaches.
for reading this letter.
Letters to the
Editor....09.19.2011 11:10 am
Hurricane Irene: The
storm and the aftermath
Thanks. Your elegant website is always a pleasure to read and
invaluable at a time like this. We've had a house in
Avon (not a rental but used by my children and
since 1978, and I'll be back as soon as possible. Thanks
I just wanted to let you know that you are doing an amazing job of
keeping everyone informed about the facts on the ground on Hatteras
I just want to thank you for your coverage of the island damage from
Irene and the subsequent clean up. Your information is very helpful to
those of us who love to visit, and I know you are providing a
great service to your local residents. Thank you again.
I just wanted to tell you that I think your web site is modern
journalism at its best. I bought my new house (well, new to me anyway)
in Buxton in July. I hadn’t even spent the night in it yet when the
storm arrived. I have followed the progress in rebuilding and
everything with great interest and gratitude that there is a source of
information that is so good.
I am finally going to try to visit my house this coming week, bringing
a camera etc., and if I have any newsworthy photos, I will send them.
It is hard to imagine that you will, though, as the folks you have
covering it are doing such an outstanding job.
I lived in Hatteras village from 1982 to 2005—the longest I have lived
anywhere. I dearly love that village and the island, and my
will always be there. When hurricane Irene hit, I was almost
desperate for news, so I immediately went to your website and checked
it regularly. When the first pictures went up, they nearly
brought me to tears. I know only too well how dependent
there is on Highway 12, but I also know how resilient the local
residents are. I knew that the road would be fixed quickly and life on
that lovely strip of sand would go on, that everyone would pitch in and
help in any possible way they could.
I have followed the progress daily and want to thank you personally for
the great, complete coverage you have given and continue to give of the
recovery process. It is wonderful! I still have a
The Island Breeze’s “Hurricane Isabel Special Report” and had
re-read it recently. That was a wonderful job of reporting as
So, thank you for all your good work, and may you be able to keep it up
for a very long time!
Thanks for the great coverage of the storm and its aftermath.
hope you'll consider covering the northern beaches, too, from time to
time. There doesn't seem to be much on this area (in print or online)
that I'm aware of right now, except on the message boards.
The combined efforts of everyone on Hatteras Island are impressive and
heartwarming to see. We just bought a house in Buxton—so recently I
haven't even spent the night there yet. I look forward to staying there
and to seeing the Island come back to its lovely self.
And as to the unfortunate lady with snake phobia: the snakes are
citizens there, too, and most of the time they don't bother anyone.
Just don't step on one.
Thank you so much, Irene Nolan, for your news site. It has been the
best source of information before, during, and now after the storm.
This site is just the best!
Today is Sept. 8. We are non-resident property owners at Hatteras
Island and feel that it is time TODAY that we should be allowed access
to our property there. We pay taxes to the state and the county, and we
would like to protest the fact that, with full power restored, we still
aren’t able to access our property. Our plans are to bring with us
everything that we will need to sustain ourselves. Dare County should
make our property available to us now and allow us to enter. All
residents of Hatteras Island can come and go on the ferries. Services
companies like tree removal, etc. have access, and yet property owners
(major Dare County tax payers) are still waiting to access our
properties? Really? Ocracoke can now accept visitors by ferry? Property
owners should have rights to our properties effective today as far as I
am concerned. The powers that be in Dare County should make this happen
for us now. This is not adding up to me.
Hatteras Island is our new favorite place. Our whole party from
Pennsylvania loved it there. Great food, great drinks, and great people
from all over.
Dave and Joan
I appreciate the extraordinary efforts being made to restore access to
Hatteras, but for all the herculean efforts, the most minor and much
needed effort has not been made. Nowhere on the Dare County
NCDOT website does the LOCATION of the stumpy point ferry
In fact if you do a search on the ferry site, it does not come
up. It would be kind to us non-resident owners to tell us
We are planning to return to the island Sept. 24 as non-resident
owners. We always trailer our boat from Pennsylvania to North
Carolina. Do you know if there are restrictions on the
ferry? Is it just for vehicles or can be also have a boat and
note: You can have a boat and trailer.)
Progress on repairing Highway 12
is going blazing fast
Just a dump truck load of thanks to all of you for your continuing
coverage. We are checking with The Island Free Press everyday for our
updates. Our thoughts are with everyone affected up there, and we hope
that the road will continue to make progress toward completion.
Kudos to the state, village leaders, construction companies, and, most
of all, the residents of Hatteras Island. From the perspective of
someone who has visited the island for 30-plus years, you have always
dealt with situations like this quickly and catered to the tourists’
needs. For most of us, our backs can't help but our hearts are with you
Thanks for the photos, slideshows, and articles that help those of who
have family on the island keep current on what's happening.
I lived and worked on Hatteras Island for a year in 1992 to 1993, and I
can see that the great spirit of the islanders is alive and well. This
is a huge undertaking and is progressing so fast. Congratulations on
your recovery and your invincible spirit. God bless you all.
Man vs. Mother nature! Barnhill has nice toys. Woof woof.
Please submit the picture of the two red dump trunks to Time Magazine
or the Associated Press, etc. I think it should win an award.
I have visited the Outer Banks many times and love its beauty. I have
reservations again for next May. I have a concern for the restoration
of the beach and road area that was heavily damaged. I wonder why a
permanent, sustainable wall to protect that area can't be built. It
seems like a waste to have to keep repairing that same area over and
over again. All the waste of property, land, and houses should be the
foremost concern in looking at the future of that area. Thank you.
You guys are doing a great job. We are coming down in October, a trip
only made possible by your hard work. Thank you for all you have done
to make our trip possible.
God bless these workers. Keep up the wonderful work!
Anne, spot on journalism here, with great detail. Don, the
time you are there, it would be very helpful to everyone if you could
take some shots of the first 25 to 30 oceanside properties and the
beach erosion. Thanks to you both and to The Island Free
for your coverage.
Re-entry for Hatteras
non-resident owners begin Saturday, Sept. 10
In addition to the water, snacks, and bug spray on the “items to bring”
list, I would add “a book”. It is easier to be patient with something
interesting to read.
Irene, thank you so much for your tireless, timely, and unbiased
reporting of this disaster. We are non-resident homeowners in Buxton
and will be there as soon as permitted. We are in contact with
neighbors to see if there is anything we can bring that may be in short
supply on the island. Please keep up the good work! I am into my second
week of having the Island Free Press as my laptop homepage. Thanks
I am scheduled in Avon on Sept. 18. This will be our fourth straight
year. We love the Outer Banks. If possible, could you post a map or
sketch of where they are filling in and where the bridge will be built?
Is material for the bridge arriving? Thank you for your updates, as I
know I can believe them as facts, and not rumors that someone is
We own a condo in Resort Rodanthe and have been starved for
information. Your paper has done a wonderful job of keeping
everyone informed on Hurricane Irene's wrath. You are now
us up to date on to the repairing of our beautiful island.
informative pictures have fulfilled our visual need for
information, which means so much. Our hearts go out to the
who lost so much.
Len and Kathy
Temporary fix for Highway 12 may
open the road in a month
You are our sole source of Avon news. Thank you for your coverage. We
still don't know the condition of our house yet.
By all means, get it in place and operational as soon as humanly
possible! Those folks need access to their properties and
tourists need access to boost the economy! I, for one, will
Hatteras Island as soon as I can cross that bridge!
Highway 12 must be rebuilt. It would take five or more years to build
the Audubon Society’s requested 17-mile bridge. The residents and
homeowners are North Carolina taxpayers and deserve to be able to
access their property. Otherwise, we're going to have a new Portsmouth
Island. I suggest that the Audubon Society pay for the highway
rebuild or the new bridge. They seem to want to dictate how everything
else on Hatteras Island should be done! I'd like to thank the
NCDOT for their work on Highway 12 over the last 20 years. They have
taken a patchwork island highway and made it into a great roadway!
Community Center is the center of life in villages ravaged by Hurricane
You can't keep some good folks down. Most of the people who live in the
tri-villages have lived their whole life, or a good portion of it, on
the island. Unfortunately, bad storms and hardship are nothing new, but
an unavoidable part of life. Like the sand under their feet, they will
be there until they too are washed out to sea. I had the privilege of
living in Salvo for a number of years and look forward to the day when
I will again. Love y'all!
I have had the privilege of coming down and visiting Hatteras Island
for over half a century, have many islanders as close friends, and know
of no finer group of people anywhere. Coming from a family
has worked the waters of the Chesapeake Bay for almost 200 years, I
have experienced more than a few hurricanes myself (I once completely
lost my house) and have also felt the extraordinary resilience of the
wonderful people who know and work the water and the remarkable way
that they pull together to confront and resolve any problem.
nutshell, they are one tough, resilient "can do" group. I
already called and made a contribution, and hope to be able to come
down to personally help with the cleanup in the next week or
My thoughts, prayers, and support go out to all of you.
Hang in there!
days after Hurricane Irene makes a mess of Hatteras Island
Are the people who chose to live on the island surprised? Did they
think that the island would never be in the path of a destructive
storm? I am sorry they have suffered as they have but when you choose
to live where natural disasters can happen, have happened before, and
will happen again, you must expect to suffer the consequences of
Oceanfront house falls into ocean this morning at Mirlo Inlet
Anne and Don,
Well done. A fabulous slide show with pictures. Thank you.
I miss seeing your lights on and the beautiful sign.
See you in early fall, I hope.
I was in Lynchburg, Virginia. A worth-while trip (but expensive).
However, I could visit our grandson at Liberty Unin.
This was the first house I stayed in, on my first Outer Banks
trip. Tailwinds, you will be missed...
This just breaks my heart. I go to the OBX at least twice a
by motorcycle, and this very spot is one I love more than any
others. Partly because of the movie location, and mostly
it is so beautiful! I can't imagine watching my house being
destroyed and being unable to do anything about it!
There have been six owners of this property since 2001. There is an
outstanding property tax balance of $1,127.41 on this property and,
like most investment properties, it is owned by an LLC. Once the owners
collect their flood insurance and pay off whatever they owe on their
mortgage, they'll deduct whatever loss they have and come out just fine.
I would like to know if there was a surge from Pamlico Sound after the
storm, like we had in the Collington, Kitty Hawk, and Southern Shores
areas. I would like to see how the houses in Waves and Salvo
through. I am worried about our friends and former neighbors.
the ground at New New Inlet
I have been a property owner on our beautiful island for over 30 years.
I can hardly believe how much damage has hit us and how hard the
residents are working hard to get things back together.
I read where the tourists will soon return, but nothing has been said
about the property owners. Where do we stand on returning to
check our homes as some of us do not rent, but spent many of the summer
months on the island. Any idea?
Peace and prayers are offered to all that are working so hard to put
Hatteras Island back together again.
We own a home in Southern Shores and were very fortunate to have had no
damage. We live in Rochester, New York and have not gotten any info
about the severe damage experienced south of Oregon Inlet. Thank you
for your coverage. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
Island Free Press Reader Survey: Hurricane Irene Response
I really appreciate the survey! Thanks for asking our opinions and
giving us a chance to sing the praises to those who deserve it (CHEC,
local cops, ferry service). Hopefully this will be shared with the
county to make the next time a bit more bearable. Also I want to echo
the above comment: Island Free Press had the best information and most
accurate, timely reports of ANY news service, anywhere. Bite me,
Thank you is not enough to express our appreciation from the on-set of
Irene up until right now. We have family out there and are concerned
for their welfare, and you kept us informed on the events unfolding,
from finding assistance to reporting that there were no injuries or
deaths, and you have—on a daily basis—provided pertinent information to
us, especially since cell service was out for a few
Being a yearly vacationer on Hatteras Island, I have called and have
e-mailed every official up to the governor trying to get an answer
about when the island would re-open. I got no response—and found
nothing on the DCEM website. But I knew that I could once again count
on you to provide the most current, accurate information for visitor
re-entry. Understand, we would have sincerely accepted no
visitors next week. We just wanted an answer from someone! We
love this positive news and want to express our deepest appreciation
for your earnest efforts! Keep up the professionalism and
all readers informed on events, activities, etc., and especially ferry
schedules, costs, and times. This is very beneficial when making travel
arrangements. Again, many thanks to you and Donna—you're the
UPDATE: Ferry Division adds two
runs to help visitors return to Hatteras
Thank you so much for the very informative articles and pictures that
you have in the Island Free Press. I don't know why it has
me so long to find it, but I will thank Dewey Parr of the Outer Banks
Shells for putting the link on his article. I know that I
reading the Island Free Press from now on.
I have been going to the Outer Banks for many years. My folks
took us to Atlantic Beach for a lot of years, and I have been going to
Avon with a group of ladies for five years. Again, thank you,
We have a reservation on the Ferry departing Ocracoke on Sunday,
September 25th at 9:30am. We are staying on Hatteras Island. We are
concerned that even if we get to the ferry dock in Hatteras Sunday
morning that there could be a chance that we will not get to the
Ocracoke ferry by 9:30 am due to the volume of traffic. Will they be
taking cars by the time of their departure or just randomly.
note: The ferry departs on the hour beginning at 5 a.m. at
Hatteras. That means you have a shot at the 5, 6, 7, and 8
ferries to make a 9:30 departure in the village. I have no
how long the line will be, but we suggest you arrive early.
you have spare time, you can stop for breakfast on Ocracoke.)
It took nearly all day to make a reservation—five online attempts that
ended in "error" messages (but which turned out to have gone through)
and a couple of hours trying to call and speak to an actual person to
straighten it all out! Karen did a fantastic job at the end
Not only are the Swan Quarter-Ocracoke ferries booked this weekend,
they're pretty much booked for the 2 weekends after that as
Furthermore, it is IMPOSSIBLE to reach the ferry division via their 800
number. One either gets a fast busy signal, or, if he is
enough to get through, he is put on hold for 12.5 and then
disconnected. I have tried for a solid day to get through w/o
luck. For people with non-refundable reservations, this makes
getting to and from Ocracoke very difficult, even when trying to make
ferry reservations two-and-a-half weeks in advance.
Did anyone from Dare County actually check with the vacation rental
companies to get an estimate of how many potential visitors were booked
for trips beginning September 15 and beyond? Adding just one more trip
for both ferries seems much too little to do any good. The posts on my
rental company's Facebook page are filled with travel woes for those
who are now without a means to get to the island. Those of us due to
arrive after September 23 are no longer eligible for the travel
insurance refund so we had a few moments of hope when the announcement
was made only to find out we still lose due to insufficient ferries.
Perhaps the decision to let visitors on the island was just too
premature to do anyone much good.
UPDATE: Stumpy Point ferry
running again for resident re-entry
I am a claims adjuster and I am trying to schedule inspections for Avon
and Rodanthe for this Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Sept.16-18. We have
a house to rent Thursday night, but I was told that you need to
schedule a reservation to get on the ferry at stumpy point. Is this
right? If so, how do I schedule a reservation? If we (I am coming with
2 other adjusters) can not get over to Rodanthe Thursday night, we are
going to be dealing with a lot of unhappy people. Please let me know
what we have to do to get on the ferry Thursday.
note: Reservations are not accepted on Stumpy Point-Rodanthe
ferry. Residents, non-resident property owners, supply trucks, vendors,
and insurance adjusters can use the ferry with identification.)
“Yesterday, some of the residents in line when the ferry was closed
down raced to Swan Quarter to catch the 4:30 p.m. ferry, the last one
of the day to Ocracoke. Arrangements were then made for those folks to
board a ferry at Hatteras Inlet to return to the island.”
Does that mean the Ocracoke-Hatteras ferry is now running? Did they fix
Highway 12 in Ocracoke? Thanks.
Lauderdale, Fla./Salvo, N.C.
Note: Yes, the Hatteras Inlet ferry is running.)
can return to Ocracoke after 5 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 7
I was planning a flying weekend to Ocracoke before Irene. Is
the airstrip in service?
note: Yes, the airstrip is in service.)
Why do I hear the theme from "Jaws" in my head? I read nothing in this
article about Dare County officials considering safety—only preserving
local jobs. I keep seeing the Mayor of Amity Island standing
the beach over the July Fourth weekend, as swimmers are attacked and
the blood flows. All because he didn't want to lose the
If the visitors can't be understanding, then they should
reschedule. One thing that I learned from vacationing on
Island is to slow down and relax while we are there. Enjoy
peaceful time and beauty of the island.
As soon as they announced the Sept. 15 opening, I went right to the
ferry site to make reservations, only to find they have long been
reserved—all the way into October. So, I am still stuck for my vacation
with no way to get there. I am afraid they are correct that, after 30
years, I will no longer come to my favorite place anymore.
I completely feel for the residents, their personal challenges due to
the damage left behind by Irene and their professional challenges as
well. My family and I have been coming to Hatteras Island for the past
18 years. We have added family members so that now we are up to four
generations. Four generations include my parents who are nearing 70 and
a brand new grandson who is only 6 weeks old. When we made our
reservations in December of 2010, there was a road that allowed the
ability to come and go as needed. Not a complicated ferry system that
requires advance registration. How is this fair to the visitors that
have paid? We work all year to pay for this one vacation. We cannot
afford to lose our money, but I cannot see spending days of travel just
for a few days of actual vacation. We were planning on splitting our
two weeks next year to accommodate family members with school age
children, but that is now dependent on how this situation is
Hurricane Irene information and news travels slowly to islanders
Thank you so much. This is the first news that we have gotten in
detail, too. Everything has been about Vermont after the storm passed
you. You all have been in our prayers the whole time, and our hearts go
out to each and every one.
Hatteras and Ocracoke Islands embody the saying “Pain passes
but beauty remains.”
Take care and see you in October! Your spirit is always amazing.
Joyce E. Luff
West Lawn, Pa.
A relatively undamaged Ocracoke
waits for visitors to return
I am very grateful to hear that residents and visitors will be allowed
back on Ocracoke and that rebuilding is getting underway. It’s good to
hear that the damage wasn't as heavy as expected.
However, a friend of mine was concerned about the "wild" horses in
Irene's aftermath. I cannot find any info on how they fared anywhere in
the news. Other Islands that have horses were mentioned, but not
Ocracoke. My friend found out the Chincoteague horses did OK, so I am
wondering if anyone can inform me or direct me to an article or news
video that tells the fate of Ocracoke's wild horses? Thank you for your
Hatteras residents can return after noon on Monday
Everyone is singing praises for the Island Free Press
Good Job! I personally have not had time until this morning
even take a look. Do you have a Stumpy Point ferry schedule posted on
your site? I couldn't find one, so, just a
I am going up the beach off and on for the next three weeks to perform
weddings that have relocated, mainly to Corolla. It is
what less than 24 hours of weather (Irene) has done to our gorgeous end
of summer, as the weather has been gorgeous since!
note: We have added a button on Hurricane Irene Aftermath
Page for the latest ferry schedules.)
Would love to hear the reasoning behind that decision. I thought the
staged re-entry was a pretty good way of handling the situation. This
just sounds like a mass traffic jam. I hope I'm wrong, because we'll be
in the middle of it.
BRIDGING THE GAPS: DOT
Highway 12 update
Some of the pix remind me of the old aircraft landing mats that used to
make up the road between the villages. The mats were wide
enough for one-way traffic with pull-offs every mile or so—if
happened to meet, someone had to back up—you didn't dare get
the mats (unless you had four-wheel drive), because the sand was very
deep on either side.
Keep up the good job. Thank you!
In the 20-plus years that I have been visiting the Outer Banks, I have
never seen such destruction done by Mother Nature.
We, as an Outer Banks family, see this and it breaks my heart. I
understand as a human race we try to make tiny little getaways to some
of these islands but, building homes and hotels on sand dunes?
The more homes we build, the more the masses will flow in and out—just
like the tide—and someone like me, who has driven these roads time and
time again, will see our little slice of heaven washed away. The more
space we waste by building million-dollar homes and hotels with all
amenities included, the more we will destroy our God-given heaven.
In Nags Head you could see the water tower for miles. In my 20's that
was the first thing I saw driving on Highway 158, then I would cut to
the beach road, get out of my car say, "hello" to everyone I made eye
contact with, and walk over the sand dune to see...well, you know.
In this day and age I see home after home, malls, and mini malls. Can
you say Boey 9? I can. Most of you will not know what this means. I
don't know where I'm going with this, but when you see a nice place to
kick off your shoes and let out a huge sigh, try to keep it in your
back pocket where no one can see it.
To those who work on the islands, trying to keep it together, kudos to
all of you. And while you’re out there, building roads so us
visitors can admire a beautiful, scenic, Highway 12, don't forget to
take off those work boots and gloves and be proud and let your feet
feel the sand and ocean between tour toes.
Rodanthe feels like the second home for my wife and me. Hate to see the
damage. We are praying for you guys.
Wanted you to know how much my wife and I appreciate your in-depth
comments and information regarding the status of repairs following
Irene's devastating impact on the Outer Banks. We had rented
oceanfront cottage in Avon for three weeks beginning today (Sept. 10)
and wish we were with you. Not being on the island is nothing for us,
compared with the problems the locals are facing and are living with.
We wish nothing but the very best for you. We only wish that
entities within the Outer Bank's tourism organization(s) would take it
upon themselves to review current travel insurance companies and their
support or non-support of cancellations due to disasters such as
Irene. Our rental company is next to worthless in providing
useful insurance coverage information. It seems to me that
something is very wrong when people pay considerable money for rental
time, pay additional money for insurance coverage, and then end up not
having a clue whether they will get any money returned. We
believe it is morally wrong to take our money and keep it when we
receive nothing in return. We believe this would be a good
subject for the Island Free Press to investigate and write a report
on. Thank you again for the wonderful coverage.
Keep up the good work! I know that you guys are working as hard as you
can. Be careful and safe.
We love coming down there. Sorry that things are so bad. It’s such a
beautiful place to visit. We are praying for the people who live there
and for all the workers who are trying to get it put together again.
God bless all.
Jo Ann Miles
Now that is cool! Can't wait to see it up and working. If you haven't
watched the video, it's very entertaining.
Very cool. Looks very similar to Baily Bridge US Army construction
We are so thankful and grateful for this coverage and pictures. We plan
to come to Rodanthe Oct. 16 for two weeks. We have been coming there
for approximately 20 years, and we feel lost back here not knowing what
to do. Bless Don Bowers—great photos! And bless all of you down there.
ramp at Stumpy Point halts ferry to Hatteras
A few thoughts on the out-of-state vehicle registration plates on
vehicles waiting in line for the Hatteras ferry: I believe the
official announcement required a driver's license with a Hatteras
address, so the tags on the vehicle do not seem to control.
rental vehicles are registered in Florida, so that could explain the RV
with Florida tags. As for the West Virginia tags, I can think
few legitimate scenarios: you have a house in West Virginia and in
Hatteras, but a Hatteras driver's license; you left Hatteras with a
vehicle too small to trailer your boat; or perhaps you left Hatteras
with someone else. I would hope that the officials at the
terminal would have checked the people in line (even if only
prescreening) well before they try to drive onto the ferry ramp. I am
out-of-state, and it was easy for me to find the requirements for
boarding the Hatteras ferry.
Is it my understanding that out-of-state cars that were in
were being allowed on Hatteras Island. Why were they in line?
is so unfair. The residents need to be allowed to return to take care
of their homes before tourists are allowed back.
day of resident re-entry by ferry was uneventful; second day not so good
Light Ferry? At 2 p.m., during the accident, we were number 82 in line,
and there were plenty more behind us. Noon was when the restriction was
My goodness, 25 percent of the tags were far out-of-state. There was
even an Ontario car with windsurfers. I’m sure you'll get the rest from
us all later. See the video and pictures and look at the tags.
Good weather is forecast for Highway 12 repair efforts
You are doing a great job on keeping everyone up to date on everything.
One thing I have not seen or heard about, though, is when workers will
be able to return to their jobs.
Pat Van Name
Everyone should read David Stick's 1958 book, The Outer Banks of North
Carolina. The first chapter will explain what has and is happening
here. Very interesting.
Sue D. Holster
Thank you for keeping those of us who live out of state but LOVE the
Outer Banks apprised of the situation there. Sending lots of
energy for a permanent solution.
As a non-resident homeowner, I really appreciate all of the updates and
pictures. Thank you
I think the inlet at the S-Curves should be Loggerhead Too, which I
think is the last inlet in that area (mid to late 1800s).
along with New New Inlet for the one near the last New Inlet from the
1930s. At least call it the S-Curve Inlet. Of
“Mirlo” does remind me of what many of us said in the 1980's when
houses started going up there along the beach: "Dumb Idea."
Hamilton (aka Salvo Jimmy)
Salvo, N.C. /
Thanks so much for all the updates. Hoping to be in Salvo the first two
weeks in October. See you then.
Excellent pictures. I have been visiting the outer banks since
1989. I love it there!
Thanks for the up-to-the-minute slideshows and information on the
progress of reconnecting the island. You and your network of reporters
are doing an excellent job of keeping all of us interested parties
apprised and encouraged during this reconstruction period. Please keep
up the good work; the photos are simply inspiring!
Nice to see the progress. I’m supposed to be there on the 18th. What's
Keep on trucking. It'll get there!
Thanks for all the amazing updates on an area that we love so much. So
many prayers are being said for continued repairs to this wonderful
area. Does anyone have any footage of the Avon area?
Hatteras restaurants need
donations to provide meals
I hope everyone that has had one memorable day at Hatteras can help
those we cannot get to. Godspeed my friends. Stay safe, and I hope
supplying a little towards food helps life there to keep on going.
I am very proud of my daughter-in-law and my son! I think they are
wonderful and generous! Love them both!
How I Spent my Summer Evacuation
Joy, you are partially right. It was, and still is,
cluster of outstanding proportions. And there is and always was a plan
to deal with it.
We, as officers of your local fire departments, asked during
a control group/EOC meeting that the loading and dock master
be placed in the hands of the National Guard. And if that had been the
case, a 24-hour sked would have been in place, with the ferry command
under the governor and the IDs and loading orderly and controlled under
the guard. This call to arms story has the same tale but
people on all fronts and has never been truly straightened
It's a mess because we kept it local and did not allow the process to
fall under those people trained to do the job right and do it all day
long, even with shift change.
In defense of the ferry folks, their job is to ferry us only, and they
are micromanaged to the hilt. Someone was doing the arrival/departure
dance and those two ferries sitting were just sidelined in the program.
It might have been because they were out of sequence.
We, as your emergency service providers, will strive to see to it that
the Stumpy Point issue does not happen like this again. It's probably
too late to fix this go-around.
Incredible story. The entire situation makes it so tough. Living on the
coast is paradise most of the time, but one good hurricane like Irene
can put a whole new spin on the coastal living concept. Hang in there!
Better times will come!
It is easy for people to criticize the operation of the ferry and the
people who run it. Many of the crewmembers that are running these
ferries are residents of Hatteras Island and have the same problems as
the returning residents. The only difference is that the ferry workers
do not have the option of leaving. They are expected to stay and work
up until the point that the conditions make it impossible to run the
boats. When the storm has passed, they are expected to put their lives
on hold and get relief supplies and equipment back to the island. At
the Stumpy Point ferry terminal, crewmembers were threatened, bullied,
and insulted by contractors, relief workers and residents while just
trying to do their jobs. If boats were tied up for a period of time
there was a reason for it. Maybe the next time people have a problem
getting on an emergency ferry they should remember that they live on an
island. Islands are surrounded by water and accessed by bridges and
ferries. If you don't want to be stuck on or off an island maybe you
should consider living somewhere not surrounded by water. To the few
people who did stop and thank us for our efforts, thank you, it meant a
Excellent article! I laughed and cried. It really gave me an
understanding of what it was like for family and friends just to try to
get home. Thank you, Joy, for your perspective.
Joy, thanks, as always, for your hilarious and spot-on commentary.
I took my kids off the island the Wednesday before the storm, to their
grandma's in Richmond—kind of an extended summer vacation for them. I
came back to the island so I could work. (Realty companies need some of
us to stay and help deal with the aftermath.) I did this last year for
Earl as well, and it worked out splendidly. Not so much this year.
Fortunately my place in the woods was just fine, and though we were
without power for days, I expected that and was prepared. What was
awful was the fact that I couldn't tell my kids when I could come pick
them up. Richmond lost power too, and of the 10 days they were there,
eight were spent in the dark. That's not easy when you're five and
seven. When the county finally announced the original resident re-entry
schedule, I was thrilled to find myself slotted on the first Sunday
morning ferry. I took the ferry off the island, drove to Richmond,
turned around and we got to Stumpy Point about 11:45PM Saturday. The
state trooper at the corner there told me I wasn't getting on until 6,
the rules were the rules, and I was fine with that. We planned to sleep
in the car, in line, rather than miss our boat. I had my ID checked
twice, and then about 12:30 a.m. on Sunday, we, and the two cars ahead
of us in line, got onto the empty ferry, and away we went. Hurray!
Then, as I was driving home between Salvo and Avon, I got pulled over
for breaking curfew, but the deputy was super nice and let us go on
home at last.
Will I stay again next time? Absolutely. Getting back is just too
Came down on the Stumpy Point ferry on Wednesday, Sept. 7, and it was
much the same thing. No one seems to have any answers. We arrived at
the ferry dock at 2 p.m. and boarded a ferry at 6:45 p.m. There was no
signage, public announcements, explanations from state police or ferry
personnel, line loading order, water, food, or bug spray. What would it
take to have a lighted sign that informs you of the next ferry time,
loading procedures, etc? You are pretty much on your own! Glad to be
home, but will never leave again. They don't know how to manage crowds!
There is one thing I have always wondered about. When many other places
have mandatory evacuations there are shelters for the residents to go
to. I know we don't want a repeat of the New Orleans
fiasco after Katrina, but there are a lot of municipalities that set up
shelters for the residents in National Guard armories, school gyms,
etc. I don't know how they can expect people to leave and
bankrupt themselves paying for hotel rooms and meals out when they
can't work for the time they are gone. I always see things in
news demanding mandatory evacuation of Dare County residents and then
saying Dare County does not have any shelters. Well, why
not? Even if it would be considered too hazardous to put
up at someplace like Cape Hatteras elementary and high schools, isn't
there somewhere up in the Nags Head area or on Roanoke Island that
would be possible? Mainland Dare County? My husband
met two local ladies on the island who, when they found out we were
from the Shenandoah Valley, said they were familiar with it because
they had evacuated during a previous mandatory order and they kept
driving and driving trying to find a place to stay and ended up in
Charlottesville, Va., which is nearly 300 miles away! This is
little ridiculous to expect people to do, and I am sure not everyone
has relatives or friends off the islands they can stay with.
think if there were shelters within reasonable distance, people might
be more inclined to evacuate.
I am glad that you and your honey and the sweet pets made it home. Here
in northern Pennsylvania, things like that just don’t happen. We have a
place rented in Avon the week of Oct. 8, and I am wondering if the
locals want us there or not. I sure want to be respectful of their
Hi, Joy. This is your mom, who is really glad you, Jon, and
pets finally made it back home safely. Dad and I were worried about
you, but your story made us feel a whole lot
Great article. I have followed the storm on Hatteras and its aftermath.
I wish you the best and will look forward to another article. You must
be a super person to look after pets so well.
Hurricane Irene Wallops Hatteras
Island, Cutting the Island and all communications
I have been a long-time follower of your website. Our family
been visiting Avon for the past 14 years and left town just three weeks
prior to the storm. Your stories and Mr. Bowers’ photographs have
allowed us to see all of the damages. Please keep posting
photographs and keep us up to date on everything that is
happening. I would love to know just how bad Avon is, but I
haven’t seen too many photos other than those of the Askins Creek BP
station. I know in one of your articles you stated shoulder
water at the post office and the house we stay at (Surfs Inn) is
directly across from there. Thanks and keep up the great
work! Stay Safe!
Islanders get help from outside
and each other in storms aftermath
Hi. I have vacationed in Rodanthe for the last three years. I can’t
find the real lowdown on what the conditions are. I understand nobody
wants to scare away the off-season renters, but it would be helpful to
know if one should even attempt the trip (from Connecticut). Thank you
Local vet helps the pets of
Hatteras Island after Hurricane Irene
Bless you, Dr. Hicks! You are an incredible person. Thanks for taking
care of the critters and their people!
Hurray for Dr. Hicks and Coastal Animal Hospital. It is
to see that it is more important to care for the animals than the
Dr. Hicks has been a lifesaver for me this summer. Living on Ocracoke,
I cannot tell you how awesome it has been to be able to call Coastal
and get in to see Dr. Hicks the same day, especially when I had a sick
cat for Ocracats and when our beagle was hit by a golf cart. She has
incredible patience and her love of animals really shows. Thanks for
writing a story on such a great asset to the islands!
Thanks to Anne Bowers for her heartwarming story about Dr. Christinia
Ballance Hicks and her contribution of professional services to the
animals and people of Hatteras Island. Christinia was one of
most involved, energetic and award-winning students to ever graduate
from Cape Hatteras Secondary School, and as one of her former teachers,
I am very proud of her.
Thanks, Christinia! I'm glad I was able to get to know you on my visits
to Hatteras. Hope you and everyone else at the Methodist
in Hatteras are OK.
I was so happy to read about your commitment to the folks and pets on
Hatteras. We live in Atlantic (just across the sound) and were more
fortunate than those in your area. Want to thank you for your service
to the pets in your area.
I want to applaud Dr. Hicks for all that she is doing. I also
want to applaud The Island Free Press for their wonderful coverage of
events of these last few weeks and the tireless efforts of the NCDOT
and the island's residents. My husband and I own a camper in
Woods Campground and hope to be able to move to Buxton in the near
future. We have always felt welcomed and have come to love the little
village that has rallied so well to aid others. There's a
of community and of being there for each other that is lacking in so
many other places. Please know that those of us who are not
permanent residents admire and treasure those of you who are
experiencing extremely trying times and weathering them with great
strength and determination. Thank you for all you do for an
that is a true national treasure. We only wish we could be
to lend a hand to your efforts, and we look forward to returning as
soon as possible. God bless you all.
Service extends public comment on ORV rule
I live in Lewisville, N.C., but have a second home on Hatteras Island.
My husband is a surf fisherman. My family has enjoyed the National Park
Recreational Area on Hatteras Island for over 30 years. But during that
time, we have experienced a subtle change in what the park was created
to be. Its primary purpose has been distorted and compromised by
well-meaning environmental groups (and by some not-so-well-meaning
groups as well), who want to turn the national park into a wildlife
refuge. I hereby submit my opposition to it. I oppose limiting beach
access to ORVs anywhere for any reason on a permanent basis. Please
take into account and consider what this land was set aside to be—a
national park. Please dismiss proposals by those who want it turned
into a wildlife refuge. We already have one on Pea Island. What if we
petitioned the courts to turn Pea Island into a national park? I am
horrified by what is happening in the name of protecting birds and
turtles (i.e., killing raccoons and foxes) on the beaches and on Pea
Island. Will the seagulls be next? I applaud those who donated their
time guarding the turtle eggs at night, but man cannot control Mother
Nature. Hurricane Irene destroyed the turtle nests and probably killed
birds and other marine life as well, especially if the black plastic
landed in the water. (Hopefully, it was removed before Irene hit.)
Stand up to the pressure groups, please. Let common sense prevail. I am
for protecting what God has given us—which includes birds and
turtles—but not at the expense of harming other animals in his kingdom.
This includes harming humans by killing their livelihood (local
businesses and commercial fishing). Keep beach access open!
I feel the beaches should not be so limited to ORVs during the summer
months if they decide to implement a fee. I enjoy visiting Hatteras
three or four times a year. However, during the summer months, a
majority of the ramps are closed, and access is limited in many areas
due to the nesting of birds and/or sea turtles. If a fee is
implemented, it should be a 10-day permit, which would allow visitors
enough time to fully get use of the beach during the time of their
stay. If a fee is implemented for a permit, the permit should be
available online for dates selected. This would limit the cost
associated with personnel issuing the permits. It also would allow the
visitor to purchase and print the permit prior to arriving. Some people
come on a limited budget, and if a fee is implemented it needs to be
very reasonable so that it does not inhibit visitors from coming and
therefore decrease the amount of people that come to enjoy the beaches.
If a fee is implemented, the money needs to stay at this area and not
be used for anything else.
Letters to the
Editor....09.09.2011 1:10 pm
Hurricane Irene: Letters on the
storm and the aftermath
We stayed in a cottage next to the Avon Pier in July. Which
pier was destroyed in the pictures?
Note: The photos were of the Cape Hatteras Fishing Pier in
Frisco, which has been periodically destroyed in a series of storm.)
Glad to hear that most is well. Thanks for keeping us all up
Very informative summary of preparations, evacuations, and details of
plans on the eve of Irene. Thanks for your attention to all
those details for residents, visitors, owners, and upcoming
renters. Very helpful!
Godspeed to all of you. I pray Irene moves east some more,
it's not looking good this morning. We love the OBX and hope
is nowhere near like Isabel. Be safe and take care.
We've been praying for Hatteras since we first heard of the
storm. Glad there's not much damage and pray that
continues. The island is our family's favorite vacation spot,
we've come to love the people as well as the place. So keep
hanging on, and hopefully we'll see you in a few weeks!
Thanks for the update. I was trying and trying to find out what was
going on down there and it seemed no one other than you was posting
updates about the island.
Thanks for the update. It's much appreciated!
I would love to hear more about how Brigands Bay is doing. We have a
place there and suspect the worst. Any info on the area is
note: Brigands’ Bay had three feet or so of storm surge from the sound
and tree branches down, but all is well. I know of no damage.)
I am the owner of home in Rodanthe, waiting to see if my home is still
Went to your site from last night’s Fox News broadcast at 3 o’clock in
the morning. I was wondering how you were.
Watching faithfully to see how everyone and the island are. God bless.
I visited Ocracoke for the first time ever on Tuesday, Aug. 23, last
week. The first sign I saw was an evacuation notice for the
following morning displayed at the Visitor’s Center. I
the brief visit. I was doing some genealogy
the help of some of your residents, I quickly located the final resting
place of Michael Lawrence Piland (second cousin, three times removed)
and the current places of employment for Jim and Mary Ellen Piland (not
sure of our relationship yet). I spoke with Jim for a few
at the hardware store, but just missed Mary Ellen at the school. Hope
to stay in touch. We (my family) were staying in Duck and were
evacuated early Thursday. I hope all things are staying
on the island and that the storm and storm surge do minimal
damage. It’s good to see that news updates are capable of
maintained during the storm. Keeping you folks in our thoughts and
Thank you for the updates. I’ve been concerned about the folks on the
We are watching the weather and praying all is safe. There is no place
closer to heaven than Cape Hatteras.
Praying for you all!
Thank you for the updates. You are all in my
prayers. Be safe. See you soon.
We hope you stay safe! My family was to come to the village today. Hope
to be there by Monday!
We love vacationing on Hatteras Island and you are all in our
prayers. Hope everyone is safe and okay.
I just want to say thank you SO much for the info! I have sat here in
Pennsylvania and listened to story after story about New Jersey, New
York, Delaware, and Vermont and have heard nothing about how you all
were making out on the Outer Banks. Ben and Rita Doerr and Brad Doerr
are my family, and I couldn’t find anything out about them, their
houses, their business, or about the well-being of other friends and
acquaintances on the island! The only news we received was that Highway
12 was breached, with no news as to where. And they wonder why
residents are stubborn to leave! The closest so-called “weather”
channel I found was up in Kill Devil Hills, with someone standing like
a fool out in the tide, with a satellite feed that kept going in and
out! That was so helpful and reassuring—not! Anyway, Thank you for your
work and Godspeed to everyone who has been affected!
God bless all of you. Keep safe. I hope things are calm enough for at
least a little sleep. I'm sure it's needed.
Hang in there! We are praying for you up here!
We just left Avon on the 20th. Hope all is well down there. We are
thinking of you. We will be back in June.
We have been glued to the TV for updates on Hatteras. It is
favorite vacation spot. You are all in our thoughts and
I own property down there and usually come ride-out hurricanes. Thanks
for staying and posting. It is quite a bit of help. God bless
keep you safe. Let us know about the surge from sound side.
Weather Channel said earlier that the sound was dry. Is that true?
note: Yes, an easterly wind blew water out of the sound and
toward its western shore before the wind shifted as the hurricane
passed by and sent all the water back, causing serious flooding some
Praying that things start to get better today, for you and everyone
else on Hatteras. Thanks for working so hard to get information about
the storm out to us.
Thank you so much for keeping us updated on the conditions in Hatteras.
Our hearts go out to everyone who has been affected by Irene.
favored us by gentling the storm. We should give him the praise!
Thanks for the updates you were able to give. I have visited Ocracoke
twice (in 2008 and 2009) and love the island. I hope to come
someday. I hope you will continue to update whenever you can!
Irene, I saw you on Fox News and wanted to let you know that you are in
our thoughts and prayers here in Greensboro. Stay strong and safe
during the hurricane!
I really thank you for your reporting of the storm damage on Hatteras
Island. It seems like you are the only way we can find out about the
island. The big guys only want to talk about the Northeast. So thanks
again. It was very informative.
Thanks for this excellent coverage and all the photos. We
currently are in the process of buying a home in Kinnakeet Shores in
Avon and have been going to Avon for the past 23 years, sometimes twice
a year. Our next three-week trip is planned for
Thanksgiving. I know the island will come back and be as
beautiful and peaceful as ever.
Thank you so much for letting people know what is going on at the Outer
Banks. The news talks mostly about the North. I want to know what is
going on down there. Thank you for the updates. I will check in daily
to hear what you have learned. Keep up the good work.
You guys have done great work keeping us informed. My wife
have been vacationing along the Outer Banks for 30-plus
my kids and grandkids are keeping up the tradition. It's
being kept up to speed on what's happening down there. I'm
saddened by all the pictures of the devastation caused by the hurricane.
God bless you all!
Anne, thanks so much for your reporting on this awful situation. We are
frequent visitors to Ocracoke and recognize many of the areas that have
been hit so hard. I will be looking forward to your reports
events unfold there. Our thoughts and our prayers are with
and the wonderful people on Ocracoke and Hatteras Islands. Who needs
Jim Cantore? We’ve got Anne Bowers!
To all of my friends and family: May God lay his hands on your
shoulders to not only guide you but also comfort you all in this time.
I remember when Ike came through, and we all pulled together to
overcome it. I will soon return to my friends, and we once again shall
see the rainbow past the clouds that have dimmed our eyes in this time
of despair! Also, I would like to give a shout-out to the Midgett
family and fellow Rodanthe residents. God bless you. Thank you to the
Island Free Press for the care and reports that are needed and
Just really wondering how the people of Ocracoke are doing. New York is
flooding now, but I care about the people and the cats on Ocracoke. Any
word would be appreciated.
Great pictures. Thanks for posting.
I am dying to know how Ocracoke and Harkers Island did and if people
are OK. Does anybody need help with clean up?
The local news in Greensboro and Winston-Salem reported more on what
happened up North and only gave a slight mention to the islands, saying
that they were a little wet but OK. I wish I knew how to send them this
from your site. Maybe I'll try tonight! Thanks for doing a wonderful
Our hearts go out to all who suffered losses during Hurricane
Irene. We have vacationed several times on Cape Hatteras, and
were just recently in Avon during the first week of August.
pictures are heart breaking, and the news of the flooding, etc.
However, we are so grateful that it wasn't even worse. Again,
prayers are with you all, and we look forward to once again enjoying
this wonderful area.
La Jara, Colo.
Thank you for the updates! So many of us who vacation on Hatteras
Island consider it our home-away-from-home. I've read so many posts on
Facebook regarding the inability to find updates on the status of
Hatteras Island and its residents. The photos were amazing. It's
amazing to see such quality photos on a news website. They are, by far,
the most vivid, real, original and professional images regarding the
impact of Hurricane Irene so far. Thank you for not posting the same 20
photos I can find on all other news sites. Thoughts and prayers are
with all of those impacted and hoping for a safe and speedy rebuild.
You guys are so on top of it. And believe me, we appreciate everything
you do. I realize there is damage, but as together as you all are down
there, I know the island will be opened up in time for our fall
vacation. Thanks for everything you do and God bless you all.
Thank you so much for this post. My heart goes out to the
along our North Carolina coast and to you brave people who were there
to try and protect it. My heart tells me it will never be the
same. God bless you all in your recovery efforts.
Thank you so much, Anne. Bernard and I haven't been able to
any of our wonderful friends on Hatteras Island. Our thoughts
prayers are with all of you. Belhaven was hit really hard.
Creek looked like an ocean. Our power was restored yesterday at 11
a.m. We had about three feet of water in our
water came in very, very fast and went out equally as
Our house was fine. We feel that we were blessed, considering
some people have water standing in their homes. Once again, thanks to
you and Don for your report.
& Bernard Midgett
Great report and useful information. More information from villages,
when you can get it, would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks. This is the only place Katie and I could get good information.
Stay safe...and dry.
The damage from Irene was much more severe than I expected to see. We
come to the island for our vacation every fall and look forward to a
week of relaxation and beauty. Hopefully the island can rebound as
quickly as possible to benefit form the last big weekend of summer. We
are watching closely and checking with our rental company as
access availability. I hope the locals can get back in to clean up and
resume their island lifestyle. All who love Hatteras Island
in our thoughts and prayers. It is truly a special place and to lose
access to it would be devastating. Best wishes for a speedy
Thank you for your work. My heart goes out to all of you. I was
supposed to vacation in Salvo Sept. 3, and if I could get there, I
would volunteer to help. Best wishes to all.
Thanks so much for the updates and pictures. My family and I
visit Ocracoke twice a year and were concerned about the safety of our
friends there. My family wishes all residents the best, and we are
praying for them to recover from this disaster.
Thank you for this news update. You all hang in there and be
You all are in my thoughts. I can't even imagine what each of you is
My husband and I very reluctantly evacuated to our daughter’s house in
Fredericksburg, Va. Our neighbors stayed behind and have been through
the whole situation. Our hearts go out to everyone on Hatteras. The
pictures I've seen are so sad. We want to come home!
Our prayers are with all of you!
Oh, no! We were just down in July for two weeks. Hope everyone is OK
Thanks for reporting. And great photos, Don.
Thanks for your online report. I have had the Outer Banks on my mind
since I first heard of Irene's trajectory. My thoughts go out
all you wonderful people who make my vacations to Ocracoke so great. I
will be back to see you as soon as
I have been a resident of Dare County and worked in the fishing
industry here since the fall of 2000. It blows my mind that
time we have a storm here, nobody from the national medai ever truly
finishes the story. I, as well as many others here, feel
often, few people outside the region ever know the true aftermath on
the Outer Banks. Without a doubt, there are many people in
North Carolina that have a long road ahead of them in the following
weeks after this storm. We appreciate everything you do by continuing
the rest of the story and not just covering the
thoughts and prayers are with all the families affected by lrene. We
have over come worse disasters before, and we will rise above this one
Thank you for your reporting. As long time visitors (since
and homeowners (since 1987) in Buxton, we are always anxious to hear
how Hatteras Island fared after each storm, so we appreciate going to
The Island Free Press for up-to-date information
photos that capture both the destruction and beauty of the
We wish the people of our cherished home-away-from-home a
speedy and safe recovery from the storm.
You are all in my prayers. My heart is breaking at the damage
done to Hwy 12, the BP in Avon, and what looks like the Frisco Pier.
We are cut off from family that live in Avon and Buxton.
Anne and Don, greetings from Pittsburgh. Glad to hear that you both are
safe. Thank you for information by way of The Island Free Press. We
obviously have had little communication with friends on the island, but
we have heard that there was no loss of life. Please stay safe
Thank you for the information and insight. This is more helpful than
the limited information provided by corporate media.
Thanks Irene (Nolan), Anne, and Don for the update. I am glad
are all okay and the storm weakened rather than intensified when it hit
the Gulf Stream. I feel for the people who sustained property
damage. Best wishes for a fast cleanup. Thank you
news and the great photos. I am happy you're back
online! I'll be back as soon as the power returns
allow access. Be well.
I’m sorry to say that the rest of the world was more wrapped up in the
least-devastated Washington to New York City area. Not much
shown of the Outer Banks. It took your photos and articles to
bring it to my attention. You should send them all to major
Kill Devil Hills resident
I would love to see a side-by-side comparison of the two photos from
Scott Boatyard. Wow! Can you publish something like that either on your
website or Facebook?
St. Louis, Mo.
Thanks for posting updates and pictures. My family and I were
vacationing in Avon and were evacuated Thursday. Is there a
to find out where these photos were taken?
Hope everyone is OK. We love Outer Banks!
Great article and post-storm coverage.
Do you have any information on Ocracoke? I have
spent many vacations on Ocracoke and am concerned.
Our hearts go out to our friends on Hatteras Island, and we pray that
there were no fatalities during or after Irene
Thanks for update. As usual, all the press from Nags Head is showing
the same boats on land, over and over. Hope all our fall friends are
safe. We are thinking about you. Let us know about Ocracoke as soon as
you can. Be safe.
We own a house on the oceanside in the north part of Avon. Just want to
express our gratitude for all the reports and cleanup work that folks
are now involved in, and also for all the care being given to the
wonderful world of Hatteras Island. Thank you!
Wow! Good luck to any that are still there. I hope things can return to
some usability soon. Our group has four houses rented in the Brigands
Bay area in mid-October.
The slideshow is excellent. The marinas that have no water are
definitely the most striking thing. I see Frisco Pier is worse off now,
but it was already not good as of last fall. When we stayed at one of
our houses, I used to walk down to that Askins Creek BP to get coffee.
I would love to see some sort of aerial view of that larger breach,
like that highly distributed shot of the Isabel inlet.
Again, good luck to all trying to dig their way out of this mess!
Wow. Thank you for the most revealing story so far regarding Hatteras
Island. Please keep us posted on the damage and the struggle to return
to a livable life.
Thanks for giving us some news of my favorite place on earth.
The Columbus, Ohio, Dispatch carried an aerial photo of the S-curve
breaches. Glad the Hatteras-Frisco rebuild held. Sounds like the
aftermath of Alex, with so many cars lost. Thinking of you
Awesome pictures recording the damage from Irene, and a very
interesting article. As usual, it makes us sad to see that type of
devastation to such a beautiful and beloved area.
This makes me cry. I love our diamond shoals.
Thank you so much for keeping all of us informed. Not being able to
reach our friends on the island is frightening and your information has
been wonderful. Our house is in Brigands Bay, and that one sentence
meant everything to us. Thank you again for your wonderful work!
For the sake of accuracy, the "Isabel inlet" was east of Hatteras
village, west of Frisco.
Bless your hearts for getting this information out. My mother
owns property on the island and was frantic to know what had happened
to her friends and neighbors. Your article gave us enough
information to know that no one was seriously injured and that, as most
hurricanes go, there was some significant damage, but again, no loss of
life, thank goodness. For everyone that stayed, our family is
thinking of you all.
As someone whose family has kept property near Rodanthe for
years, it amazes me that the state and federal governments are always
at odds over repairs to the island and its roads after a
One avenue that they have never looked into is the world experts in
land restoration and rebuilding, the Dutch. They have the
knowledge and equipment to do in weeks what the Army Corps of Engineers
and others take months, even years, to do. They built the Palm Island
in Dubai and add hundreds of acres to their own coastline every
year. Perhaps some forward thinking officials cold look into
Does anyone else remember why driving on the beach at Pea Island was
banned? As I recall, it was claimed that vehicles made ruts in
sand which caused increased beach erosion.
I feel so bad for you guys. We were just down there the week before
Irene hit, and we stayed in Rodanthe. It was beautiful. What a mess
now. We fished the Oregon Inlet and went over to Ocracoke
It was a blessing that this was not a category 3. Be safe and
will pray for all you people.
Thank you for posting those pictures. We have a camper in Rodanthe at
Midgett Campground, and we were able to spot our camper still standing.
For now, that will have to do, which is good enough, as we thought
perhaps our camper was like one of the ones from the North Beach
Our hearts and prayers are with all of the residents of Hatteras
Island. I can't wait until we can come back and see you all and help
you in any way we can. Thanks again for the update. We
your posts, and I hope things start turning around very fast for the
Don, these pictures are so amazing and so sad at the same
And Anne’s article is extremely informative. It has been hard
find good articles that give you real information on what has happened
on the Outer Banks—other than the fact that it was bad. My
has been going to the KOA in Rodanthe every summer for about 15
years. It is so hard to see all of the damage. I also work
the sons of the gentleman who owns Jobob's Trading Post. The damage is
Thank you so much for all of your coverage and your photographs. Our
hearts go out to all on the Outer Banks. It's hard to believe that this
is not as bad as Isabel by the sounds and sites of it.
My family and I have been visiting Hatteras Island for over 25 years
and love it down there. We were just there on vacation when the word of
Irene came. We left the evening before the mandatory evacuation, thanks
to the wise advice of a wonderful local business owner.
I admire your Outer Banks heartiness and know that you will come
through this. If there are any local organizations that are accepting
donations, it would be great if you could write about it. The Outer
Banks and its people and wildlife have offered so much to so many, who
I know would like to give something back, if they can.
Once again, thank you for your online newspaper. I can't remember how I
found my way here, but I am very glad I did.
Thank you so much for the print and pictures. Yours is a
service to those of us who live far away from the area. Thank
Thank you to Don Bowers for the pictures and to Anne Bowers for the
accompanying article. We can read about chaos and devastation, and it
breaks my heart to do so, but those pictures make an off-islander truly
Excellent coverage and photos! Any report or photos about Avon? When
able, we intend to help on the island.
Thanks for the updates, Irene. My fiancée and are glad you're safe.
We're still planning on heading to Ocracoke on our honeymoon in October.
All eyes are
on Hurricane Irene
It would be my opinion that this hurricane may take several
paths. As we know, whenever it gets closer to Cape Hatteras
becomes very unpredictable. Probably because of the Gulf Stream ends
and the waters are cooler. It is just my opinion. By the way
would not be kin any chance to. Mary Nolan? Interesting question and
all, but do you want publish this?
Looks likes you are really stirring up one out there! Only
I was thinking more along the line of yet another storm named after
another of my family. One of my great aunts had the wonderful
name of Irene.
Over the years there have been hurricanes named after my family, and if
you knew my family you would understand why they picked the names!
Hazel, my great-grandmother, Isabel, my grandmother; Gladys, my
great-aunt, and now Irene, my great-aunt. Now what is
is Hazel is Isabelle's, Gladys's, and Irene's mother. All the
same family group and all those hurricanes have had--and in Irene’s
case, may have--an effect on North Carolina.
So It seems Irene may be just trying to come home. I know I would be,
it’s heaven on earth!
Irene, thank you so much for keeping us updated. I was so hoping that
the damage wouldn't be as extensive as it is. I have you all
my thoughts and prayers.
Thank you so much for the excellent coverage at such a difficult time.
Our prayers are with everyone on Hatteras. We will be back as always
next May to help the economy the best we can. I have every confidence
you will bounce back. Until then, be safe.
Just wanted to also add how incredible your photos are.
The pictures and information about the devastation to this beautiful,
serene and wonderful place is heart breaking. To all of you
call this home, God bless you and yours. Our prayers are with you. I
know that a lot of things can't and won't be replaced, but your
strength will pull you all through, as it has done before. Our families
will be coming down as soon as possible, when the "outsiders" are able
to do so. Take care and God bless you all. Sincerely.
Karen L. Gray
Our thoughts and prayers are with you all
As a friend of the Outer Banks and a visitor since 1970, I hope things
go well. I would like to know how to get my motor home to Waves, if it
is even possible.
Our family has been visiting Hatteras Island for a number of years, and
we just love it! We intend to visit in October, if at all
possible. Our best wishes for a speedy recovery from Irene's
devastation. Our hearts go out to all the local residents and
It is time for these enviro-whackos to shut up and sit down. Let’s cut
off their roads to their homes and sue them when they try to cross!
As a frequent visitor to your beautiful island, I hope and pray that
there will be a solution to the bridge replacement standstill. Reading
the Island Free Press is always interesting and informative and keeps
me abreast of the happenings at my favorite vacation destination. Thank
We vacation on the Hatteras Island. This year we booked in Salvo for
the end of September. Our hearts are sad to see this, but it reminds us
of what is really valuable in life. Not money, not things, but people.
We are praying for the residents of the whole area and appreciating
each other. May God bless and restore the people of the Outer Banks.
My family and I have been coming down to the Outer Banks for almost 20
years, mainly to the Avon and Buxton areas. Our first and main concern
is the safety, health and well being of all the residents of the
island. As a vacationer and fisherman, we always look forward to
visiting the residents, walking the beaches, shopping at the stores,
and enjoying the relaxing atmosphere our family receives. A void will
be in our summer if we can't make it down this year, but we know the
residents and the state of North Carolina will be doing all they can to
repair the break in the island. Every time we come down, we learn more
and more history of the state and the nation. You folks still have a
lot of friends in Pennsylvania, and I hope we can still make it down
I just wanted to tell you that you do a great job with all the
articles. I always check out what is going on at my favorite vacation
We were scheduled to come to Frisco this weekend, but thanks to Irene
it doesn't look like that will happen. Thanks again for all the
updates, and keep up the good work.
I was supposed to come down this weekend, until Irene blew apart the
Banks. If they would restore the power and line up ferries to bypass
the road break, I would still come down. The military has portable
bridges they use during wars that they may be able to help with. I am
so disappointed and would love to see someone come up with a solution
that would save the day. Imagine how much money will be lost this
weekend if the place remains cut off.
It’s the same story as when Katrina hit New Orleans: politicians and
environmentalists are playing with people’s lives, just so they can be
right or "politically correct" for the sake of re-election.
I want Hwy 12 fixed as soon as possible. My vacation time and money are
spent on the Outer Banks every year, and I vote on the issues.
No politician or environmental nut-job should decide if or how I get to
the Outer Banks to do that.
I am really over the SELC, DOW, and the Audubon Society ruling what
happens to Hatteras and Ocracoke. I certainly hope that assistance in
getting access south of the Bonner Bridge does not end up going through
the hoops of these cold-hearted people.
It broke our hearts to hear and see the damage to the Outer
Banks. We have been coming to Hatteras Island and north every
year for the past 40 years. We pray for those isolated on
Hatteras and north. God will see you through.
I simply love the Outer Banks. It is one of the few places I
go and truly unwind. I would love to live there. I wish you
the best and am sending prayers your way.
Our daughter and her family stayed for the hurricane at our family home
in Avon. We had no contact from Saturday evening until Monday
evening, when we were able to contact them on the landline. We
thank God that they are fine. We would not know what to do if anything
had happened to them and our two granddaughters. Our thoughts
prayers are with everyone. The island is our second home and
thoroughly enjoy the peace and tranquility.
& Don Bowker
Our thoughts and prayers are with you all at this troubled time, but
you all are a bounce-back-quickly group. We know—from visiting this
island for over 50 years. God Bless!
Herb and June
Rebuild Hwy 12. The amount of tourist dollars and taxes collected is
essential to the economy of North Carolina.
My thoughts and prayers are with all of you. It is truly amazing to see
the power of Mother Nature and then to see the goodness and love in
your fellow citizens. I am a regular tourist of the island and have
spent as much time there as I can since my
Just a quick email to say that everyone is totally amazing, and we
cannot even begin to say how much we appreciate it. It is frustrating
to be away, but you help relieve some of that frustration with your
incredible descriptions and reporting.
From the bottom of our hearts we say thank you and God bless and take
care of all of you.
N.C./Baltimore, Md./Philadelphia, Pa.
I’m a Hatteras native living in Panama, Republic of Panama. I just want
to thank the good lord for looking after all of my family and friends
on Hatteras. It is a special place, and I know in my heart that, just
like all the times in the past, the people of the villages will come
together and get things back to normal. I love you Cape Hatteras! Hang
Thanks for the news from Hatteras Island! We live in
Va., and have a house in Avon. We very much appreciate the information
you are reporting and the excellent photos from Don Bowers.
My family and I are one of the many visitors who had to leave your
beautiful island, which, in my heart, is my second home. As I sit here
with tears rolling down my face viewing all the damage, my heart,
thoughts, and prayers go out to all of you. Thank you for hanging in
there and for your strength.
I just wanted to say that I was there the week of the storm. We stayed
at Winterobe and had to leave on Thursday, two days earlier than we
wanted to, I was so upset that my vacation got cut short, as we come
down there every year, but after seeing the devastating damage to
Hatteras Island, I'm grateful that my family and I are safe and not
enduring what the people of Hatteras Island are. I'm sure that you all
will recover, and hopefully I will be able to return again next year.
It is heart breaking to see all of the damage that Irene has caused. I
feel like Hatteras Island is my second home and when I'm not there, I
am missing it terribly. I wish all the people of Hatteras Island and
the Outer Banks good luck and a speedy recovery, so that they can
resume their normal lives.
It breaks my heart to see our beloved Outer Banks have to endure this
awful mess. We have vacationed there in Salvo for the past five years,
and I dearly love the area. It is so sad to see all the
destruction. It may take a while, but the people of the Outer Banks
will recover. My heart and prayers go out to each
wish I could help some way.
You have the most up-to-date information about the island.
people want to get back, as you know. Thanks for the updates
pictures. You are doing a great job.
I'm devastated for all you folks and your wonderful island, and I hope
things will improve day by day. Our prayers go out to each
every person living on Hatteras Island. I am upset that the
national news does not give Hatteras Island more coverage, and it's
heart breaking to look at the pictures of the devastation you all have
suffered. We will miss our vacation on your island this year,
hopefully will be able to return next year. I've never seen a
more beautiful place. It’s heaven on earth. God Bless to all!
Thank God you are all right, and the situation there is beginning to
improve. We wish you Godspeed in getting back to
hope to visit in October.
Thank you for this coverage of the storm damage. I have been monitoring
this story since before Irene arrived there. My husband and I spent our
last 10 anniversaries on Hatteras Island, in late September and early
October. My husband passed away in November of 2010, and I was looking
forward to being there again Sept. 24. It is very saddening to see it
this way. It was our favorite place on earth, our own piece of
serenity. My prayers for God’s help with a speedy recovery and a return
to her glory!
Thank you, Don and Anne, for the informative article and great, but sad
My heart goes out to all in North Carolina. I love my trips to
Ocracoke, driving down Highway 12, loving the sights from the airport
to the village. My prayers and love to all of you, and I pray you will
all recover as soon as possible. I love the Outer Banks! I have several
friends on Ocracoke and to you all—my heart is with you.
Island Free Press, thank you so much for the coverage! We keep hearing
about Vermont up here in Virginia, but I couldn't find anything on the
Outer Banks, except the Atlantic Pier being washed out. Keep up the
good work. And is there anything we can do up here to help?
Excellent article, but I was in tears as I read it. As a
non-resident homeowner in Avon who does not rent our home there, we
would so like to be there to help those in need. Thank you
all you have done to keep us informed.
I am without words to express my feelings to the Outer Banks folks.
Saying I understand is unacceptable, because if you don't live through
something there is no way to understand it. I am a paramedic in
Johnston County, and our little wind-blow was nothing compared to you
folks. Is there any way we could come and assist our EMS buddies for a
few days and give them a break? I wish someone could pass this along
and let me know, and I'll see what I can do to gather some other
paramedics and EMT's to come help.
I'm an adviser with NOAA in my area. I'm not saying the storm is headed
for the Cape Hatters area, but I really think this storm will hit just
south of the cape and north of Savannah. I’ve said, since the beginning
of the year, that America is going to see a lot catastrophic weather on
the eastern coast, and it is happening. I have never seen weather like
this, and I do believe that we are going to see more and more of this
type of weather. Irene is supreme in this fashion—she blows, and where
she hits nobody knows.
We own a home in Waves and have been starved for some news. This is a
great article, and we will look forward to more information.
God bless you!!!
Leigh Ann Mann
“Dia dhuit, Irene and The Island Free Press, from Ballydavid, Dingle,
County, Kerry, Ireland—on the other side of the Atlantic.
I’m sorry I never heard of you until today on Fox News. "Fan ínnte" is
the Irish for “stay with it” or “stick with it” and "Le cabhair dé"
means “with God’s help you will all be safe.”
And your report will be the real report on Irene.
Dia Libh (God be with you)
Bravo, Irene. We are praying for everybody on Ocracoke and Hatteras, as
well as all the coastline in the path of this storm. I love the Outer
Banks. I lived in Elizabeth City for about five years, many years ago,
so I was always going to the beach. You all—whether native
generations or native by transplant—are a wonderful breed of folks. The
best in the world. Hang in there, and may God keep you safe. And we
hope cleanup and restoration goes quickly.
We've been so incredibly worried about all of you in Hatteras! We've
stayed at “Point II,” a house right next to Durant Station, for the
past several years (including the year the water spout hit our house!)
and would certainly have joined all of you in staying if we'd been
there when Irene hit. We're due to return in a couple weeks, but I
haven't heard if “Point II” survived, and I have major doubts whether
Highway 12 will be up-and-running. If I had to place a bet,
though, I'd say it will be—in some way, shape or form. That's the
Hopefully, we'll be able to meet you in person sometime and tell you
how much we enjoy your wonderful news from "paradise."
Please take care of yourselves and know that we are certainly
remembering you in our prayers!
Irene, I’m so glad to hear that you made it through another storm.
Thankfully, no one was hurt on Hatteras Island, and possessions can be
Hang in there, and thank you for all you do.
Warm regards from Michigan. We love and cherish the Outer Banks. We
were in Frisco in June, and are with you now in spirit.
Thanks so much. I don't do Facebook, and I appreciate all your news. I
have reservations, as usual, Oct. 8-15 in Rodanthe, and I hope to see
you all real soon. It’s been Marvelous seeing you on here. I have been
praying constantly for everyone on Hatteras and Ocracoke.
take care, and God Bless you and keep you safe.
Aloha to our island cousins! So sorry you have to deal with
the difficulties and loss. Those of us who love the Outer
are with you in spirit and concern, and we look forward to returning
once you are back on your feet and have transportation
No way would we cancel our return trip to the Inn on Pamlico Sound this
November! Thanks for the news updates. You are not alone.
We are reading from California and are relieved that you and company
are alright. Thank you for your Herculean effort to keep the Outer
Banks and its admirers from afar informed. Take care!
To all, thank you for the information and up-dates on the damage done
by Hurricane Irene. I'm from Pennsylvania, but I have vacationed in
Hatteras every year for the last 10 years. I was not there for Isabel
and most likely will not be down this year either (though I was
scheduled to be there in a few weeks). I love your web pages, and I
hope all of you fared as well as could be expected during the
hurricane. God bless you during this troublesome time.
My husband and I visited the Outer Banks for the first time two years
ago, after going to the Gulf for 35 years. We fell in love with the
area, the people, the history, and the beaches. We tell everyone: “Go
to the Outer Banks! You will love it.” We were so concerned with your
safety when we watched the progress of Irene. We are planning
trip next spring. Ready or not, we are coming. God Bless you
To the residents of Hatteras Island, I would like to say thank you for
making my time there a very beautiful memory, and I hope that I can
come back to see you. I cannot express enough my sorrow for your losses
and the extreme conditions that you are enduring. I know that, working
together, you will overcome your current situation. I wish I could do
more than offer my prayers and thoughts daily. I do look forward to the
time that I can again come and visit you. Hatteras Island is a place
that makes me feel at home. Again, please know that my prayers and
thoughts are with you all through these trying times.
I know you all can recover. God Bless you all.
I lived in Virginia all my life, moving to Colorado just this April,
and Rodanthe was my home-away-from-home. A huge lump sits in my throat,
but after reading this and knowing the residents and the people of the
Outer Banks, I am relieved to hear that they are coming together as a
community to rebuild. Kudos to the military and Salvation Army, among
other services there to help get the island and its people back on
their feet and back to their livelihood. I will return next summer and
I just know it will be just like "home" again. God Bless Hatteras
Our hearts ache for all of you. Praying especially for those
who have lost their homes and businesses.
Tom and Kim
We can't even begin to imagine what the folks on Hatteras Island are
going through. Our thoughts and prayers are with
have spent many, many weeks there over the years, and it has always
been a very special place to us.
Let's not forget Highway 12, folks. Yes they live in paradise most of
the time. And yes this is the risk one takes to live the Outer Banks
life, on that narrow strip of land. These are folks that know
on a good day and still know him after Irene left them with little or
nothing. These are the people that America is built on—proud,
hardworking, neighbor-helping-neighbor kind of folks. So while you put
your babies to sleep tonight and you climb into your dry,
clean-smelling bed, remember these folks that need your help. Mostly
prayers! God bless them all.
You guys are doing a great job at keeping everyone in the
Thoughts and prayers are with everyone on the Island! I’m so
thankful that there was no loss of life. Things, no matter how precious
to us, can be replaced.
I hope everyone is well. I cannot believe some of those pictures. We
were Hatteras village the week before the storm. I just hate to see the
devastation. My family will be thinking of the Outer Banks,
have been coming down since 1976. We hope for the best for all of you
on the islands. Good luck and God bless.
Red Lion, Pa.
I live in Maryland, but I own property in Hatteras colony. We were on
vacation there the week Irene hit, so we boarded up for the first time
ever and left for home on Friday. You have been my link, and we thank
you. Hatteras Realty just told us we did OK. And I give thanks
that. But I am feeling everyone else's pain and sorrow. I wish we could
be there to help. We will survive. Always have always
We can't thank all of you at the Island Free Press enough for the Irene
updates. We spend summers in Hatteras at our little
Your updates kept me sane. I really lost it after Isabel, with the loss
of our cabana and the damage to Hatteras village. My heart goes out to
the northern villages, and I hope that everyone is able to rebuild as
Anne, what a lovely article. I work as a staff reporter for the Lincoln
Times-News in Lincolnton, N.C. My family has been vacationing on
Hatteras Island for over 30 years, and we will do so again the last
week of September, Lord willing. Could I publish your article
our local newspaper (giving you all credit, etc.)? There are
people from our county who vacation on the Outer Banks, and I know they
would love to read this. Please let me know, either
God bless you all as you recover from this awful storm.
We love the residents of Hatteras and Ocracoke—best people you can find
anywhere. And the people there have become part of the attraction for
tourists who return year after year.
I’m praying that the resources that often go to cities of the
well-connected find their way to help the residents of
Irene, Thanks for the Island Free Press' tireless reporting.
been relying on the site and your Facebook page to get Hatteras and
Ocracoke Island news. I've never met Don Bowers, but please
him I found his pictures very helpful in gauging the depth of
destruction. I've seen very few Ocracoke pictures or
Does that mean damage was minimal on the island? If so,
Although I sympathize with anyone who looses property, American
citizens subsidize the constant repairs to these Outer Banks
communities (and others as well) through taxes and increasing insurance
rates. These are sand bars that should never have been built on as
permanent residences. Anyone who chooses to live in such
high-risk areas, such as along the Mississippi and along the ocean
front, needs to self-insure. I think then, one might take a more
reasonable view of its practicality.
On rebuilding Highway12: Our family has been visiting Ocracoke via
Highway 12 for the past 30 years. Our many photos document our great
vacations including everything from our (then) toddler son petting
Ollie the cat to our family reunion this past May. When hurricanes or
storms come up the coast, we first check on our family and then try to
find out how the Outer Banks are doing. Please rebuild
in whatever way you must. My thought is to charge an access fee—let’s
say $20 for one day or $15 per day, per vehicle for multiple days—for
visitors only. Pay one time at Whalebone Junction or from Cedar Island
or Swan Quarter, and go anywhere in between during your stay.
I am a person of only moderate means, but visiting this beautiful place
is well worth such a fee, which could be used to build and rebuild the
road and bridges and ferry system. During the year, I expect to pay for
museum entrance fees, toll roads, quilt show entrance fees, and any
other type of entertainment. Why would a Highway 12 access fee be any
different? As to much of the area being a National Park, that
fine. If one can reach the area by boat, plane, or on foot, it is still
free. If one needs to use a vehicle traveling on Highway 12
get there, then there would be an access fee. (Note: the park itself
would still be free.) Pre-arrangements could even be made in advance,
as we now do for motels or rental homes. Pack the car, have your access
fee sticker or tag on the dash and you are ready to roll!
I’m looking forward to my next visit. Until then, the Outer
Banks, and especially Ocracoke, will be in our thoughts and prayers.
Congratulations on this excellent coverage of the situation. Your
newspaper and the Midgett Realty website are the only good
of information about the emergency. All the national news outlets are
focusing on the hurricane's effects in Vermont. We have a cottage in
Waves. Our hearts go out to the residents on Hatteras.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the residents of Cape Hatteras as you
clean up and recover. We have loved vacationing there for over 20
years, and we know that you will be back!
Thank you, thank you, thank you, Island Free Press, for keeping us
updated! You are our only link to the island right
you are doing an awesome job!
I spent two summers camping at the National Park Service
campground in Frisco, and I do plan on going back next summer. The
plans are already made. So get the road done, or I'll have to swim
over! All the luck to you, and God Bless all of you on the Outer Banks.
Thank you for your updates.
Anne, we truly appreciate the descriptive pictures you paint with your
words for those of us who are not on the Island. Hatteras is
to our hearts, and although we're hundreds of miles on the other side
of the state, we're here to help and to fight for you in anyway we
can. Please keep up the good work. Your paper and your
are a treasure.
You're in our thoughts!
Thank you so much for the updates and photos. One of the many
things we admire about Hatteras Island is the people. You are
strong and resilient. You are dealing with a major disaster,
everyone is all smiles in the photos. What the photos cannot
are the smells, humidity, heat, and mosquitoes you are all enduring
without complaint. The people working so hard to ready the
for vacationers like me and my husband suffered personal losses in the
storm, but they just keep placing one foot in front of the other,
working hard to restore normalcy. Everyone on Hatteras Island
should take a moment to commend themselves on their hard work and
optimism in the face of such adversity. We visit twice a year
yearn for Hatteras Island in between vacations. You folks are
part of the reason why Hatteras Island is so special; you make it that
Anne, thanks to you and Don for providing us with a link to our
home-away-from-home. We will visit when we can get back down
Buxton. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Outer Banks.
So Sad! Our thoughts and prayers are with all the wonderful people of
What can I say? How horrible. I want to be there to help. Working on
sending supplies through one of the churches here. Love you guys.
I have been able to get news on Hatteras and cities morth, but it seems
there is nothing on Ocracoke. How are all the folks doing down there
and was Highway 12 split for them also?
It sure appears as though it will be quite a while before one can take
the ferry from Hatteras down, so are they limited to just the one ferry
in Cedar Island? I’m assuming with the way Irene went through Pamlico
Sound, Swan Quarter and Cedar Island could both be out of commission
Thanks for the more realistic appraisal of the overall conditions down
there. It is hard to find commentary other than what the
agents provide, and they tend to be a bit rosier in their comments. We
are booked for the second and third weeks of October, but that sounds
progressively more doubtful with each passing day. The whole
situation is heart breaking. Thoughts and prayers are with
all. Hang in there and we will return.
As usual, great coverage. And the photographs are heart stopping. We
are praying for you all on the great Outer Banks of North Carolina.
Our hearts go out to all of you. We love your beautiful island. Best
wishes for a speedy recovery.
Thank you so much for the coverage you provide in times like
these. We have friends that are permanent residents and
with vacation homes, and these updates are very much
As repeated visitors to Hatteras Island, we are so very sorry to hear
about all of the destruction and grief caused by Irene. Would it be
possible to list the names of the businesses will not be able to
reopen, as we have so many places that we love. We would love to know
if they are safe. Our prayers are will all of you. We appreciate
everything you are doing to let us know what is happening there.
Thank you so much for the news and updates. It is the best
coverage of any outlet. It will be several days before I get to see my
place in Avon.
There are no words to describe the feeling in my stomach over this.
Thanks, Anne, for writing this and putting things in perspective.
Do you need any clean up help? Thank you for all you are doing to keep
us all updated. If you need anything just let us know. Thanks again.
Bankers are made of strength and compassion! Be encouraged. There is
much to do, but you all know what needs to be done, and you how to do
it. The task is great, but you will succeed (again) with the prayers
and support of those who know and love you. The visitors who keep
returning year after year feel a strong bond with all of you, who make
us feel so welcome each visit. Look how far you have come in just three
days! "One step, one day at a time." Donations are on the
where should we send the checks?
So, would this be the one that would have taken Seredipity
My heart is heavy just thinking of the locals during this
May God bless them and help the healing begin. Love to all my
Outer Banks friends!
My heart and soul go out to you in this time, and I've been following
all the pictures and news on Facebook of the devastation. I've only
been there two times in my life, and this September would have been the
third. I am in awe of your beautiful island. I will miss it so
much, and I will look forward to visiting you again when you are back
in business. I am, however, so happy that everyone is alive. Mother
Nature is a scary lady at times. She might have taken your highway and
homes, but never your hearts!
Yes, it was
I can always count on you for full color on what’s happening in the
Outer Banks—the place where I'd rather be.
We felt it here as well. It was a strange feeling. Our dogs acted
strangely, too. It's like they knew it was coming.
Praying that minimal damage was done and that the storm will do no
damage to the Island.
is preparing to implement ORV rule
Congrats. Never let a good thing continue. My hat is off to yet another
example of government interference, reduction in freedom, and the
continued advance of tyranny in what used to be the greatest country on
the face of the earth. Keep up the good work. You have created another
reason for me to vacation and fish elsewhere.
My family and I travel to Ocracoke Island three to four times annually
and have been doing so for the last 10 years. We spend thousands of
dollars there annually but will look elsewhere for vacations if this
ORV rule becomes a reality. It sounds totally ridiculous. These rule
makers need to give surf fishing a try. Maybe they would wake up!
My husband and I have been bringing our family to the OBX to surf fish
for 37 years. Now that we are retired and living on Social
Security our annual surf fishing trip is our only luxury. You
pricing us out of that pleasure. Please reconsider the cost
burden you are imposing. The restrictions were bad enough,
this is really going to be a burden which price us out of our vacation.
I do not have a problem with permits to drive, per se, but at least be
smart about it. The way it is being proposed, the costs of
running this will be way too high and involve too much
government. Why not just have online permits granted on
card access? People are inherently honest but park rangers
check for permits as necessary. Please do not create something that
will require a bunch of new jobs to cover and say you are going to
charge only the projected expense for operating this. Why not
just require permits, sell them, and use the profits to help beach
erosion or build and maintain ramps? It could generate revenue without
the need to change the way things are now and the way they have been
since wheels were invented. In talking about building new
areas, it is obvious to me that you want this to provide access to walk
over to the beach as you phase out vehicles altogether. Not a
good idea or a good selling point. Government intervention is
going to help the economy or conservation in that area. Give
active wildlife groups in that area the chance to protect the
environment themselves without unnecessary intervention.
There is no science behind prohibiting pedestrian access below the
high-tide line. Pedestrian access to Cape Point is blocked off for all
of June and most of July. How does this help the environment
serve the well-being of nesting birds?
There is no reason to turn Cape Point into an off-limits hatchery for
birds and prohibit pedestrian access, but this is the misguided action
that is being taken.
I view these rules and restrictions as an extreme
over-reaction. It started with a desire to protect nesting
but it has become a grossly exaggerated and unnecessary attack on all
people's enjoyment of this unique and beautiful coast. It's
an over-active immune system in a human body. When the immune
system becomes over-active, the body attacks vital organs and begins to
lose health. The park service has become a hyperactive immune
system that is attacking the people it should be seeking to serve. They
are acting in a way that has no benefit to any creature, be it the
birds, animals, or people.
I have one question. When has a pedestrian walking below the tide line,
or even six-to-10 feet above the high tide line, hurt or hindered a
Yet, now, no people can enjoy Cape Point during its peak beauty and
usefulness—for swimming, wading, and walking around.
I call for reasonable management, not exaggerated, hyperactive,
over-reactions that serve absolutely no one.
bachelors go on the auction block for a good cause
Oh my! I am so disappointed I missed the auction. It sounds like real
fun. I missed the festival this year, too. I am coming soon, though.
Maybe just to relax and spend lots of money at my favorite vacation
spot, helping it to recover some of what it lost during Irene. I am
praying the great people in Ocracoke are alright. I am missing the salt
water that got in my veins, the bike rides every morning to the end of
the island, and even the bird who fought for the post on the dock (he
won by the way). Wishing all the tough islanders the best. Love from
the West Virginia mountain girl.
Living: Learning to love thy beach neighbor
This article is so true. We just returned from a wonderful week in
Hatteras. It was enlightening reading that islanders and visitors can
both have "bad beach neighbors". We never really had this happen before
but first, at the very crowded pull-off across from the Ocracoke pony
pen, we parked mostly in the grass and politely asked the man sitting
in his car next to ours if he was able to get out past us, at which
point he snarled "lady, you gotta be kidding me" and almost ran me over
hastily backing out, and then he angrily drove away. Really? It’s
Ocracoke man, Chillax! And then, while beaching nearly every
at the Ramp 55 beach access walkover, our drive-in beach neighbor, who
was also there everyday in "her" spot, was annoyed that, while we were
swimming, the current took us down the beach adjacent to her truck. She
informed us in a nasty tone that we were swimming behind her vehicle
and NOT our vehicle and that we were basically in her space. There were
four of us, her, and maybe three or four others swimming in about a
half-mile stretch at the time. First of all, we did not have a vehicle,
and the last time I checked there weren't ropes or fences or barriers
to restrict where in the ocean we could or could not swim--whether the
current was carrying us or not. The next day, low and behold, a
volleyball team had set up three nets in "her" spot which totally
ticked her off. When they left, she sped her car back up and when
someone else pulled near her she threw a tantrum and yelled at them for
throwing a football on the beach (not even near her). They finally just
left to get away from her. Really? What a miserable life this person
must lead to be rude and nasty while everyone else is just trying to
enjoy and relax in paradise. I think she must just be one of
those people that has issues with everyone no matter where she is.
Maybe next year she'll go to Ocean City or Virginia Beach. I'll be back
As someone who knows a large number of Amish and grew up among them, I
can tell you a number of them would roll on the floor laughing at this
story. I know I did. My favorite retort from someone Amish who I shared
this with was, "I wonder where they hitched the wagon down on the
beach?” I've been coming to Hatteras since 1980, and this is the first
time I've ever heard an Amish story! What a HOOT! You made my day!
Lighthouse will host Civil War encampment
I am a direct descendant of Robert E. Lee on my father's side. I've
been involved in lots of Civil War activities over the years.
Unfortunately, I won't be there for this event. It's nice to read about
it on Island Free Press. Thanks!
for Forts Clark and Hatteras gave the Union its first Civil War victory
I notice no mention of Confederate troops taken prisoner. My
great-grandfather, Thomas Latham, from Washington was taken prisoner
when the Forts fell and was imprisoned at Fort Warren, Mass. for
several months before being repatriated. Several other Beaufort County
boys were also captured by the Union forces.
To the person who wanted information for tourists when they come, there
is the Hatteras Island Green Map. It locates local attractions, has
pictures, and even tells the history of some of the attractions.
Everything from shops and restaurants to the Isabel breach are located
on the map. In the future it can also be coordinated with your GPS.
Visitors can also add to the map any of their favorite places. The URL
Everyone is free to list their favorite place to stargaze (we already
have one place listed), eat, go swim, fish, or any other asset that we
have on the island.
Young victim and her parents share the story of shark attack on Ocracoke
Oh my gosh, I feel so bad for you. Thank God you survived. And you are
only six! I hope you get to walk on your right leg again. I will put my
prayers towards you.
Emmy and Emma
So sorry Lucy got hurt but she told it like it is—the shark didn't mean
it. She Is a smart girl! Wow. We were at the same beach just the week
before, and I never go out far in the water at all, just knee-deep,
looking for shells. This was a learning time for me. The only scary
thing we saw were all the nudists—didn't need to see that at all! I
Wish Lucy and her family well and hope they go back to the beach with
old Hatteras in photographs
What a joy to see these pics. My family has been coming to the Outer
Banks since 1960--51 years! I have many pics that take me back in time.
I can remember camping at Cape Point. You had to take a friend with you
to the shower to pump it! I also saw the first man walk on the moon
down there. Sadly, many of the people we used to go there with are
gone, but I continue to make the trip every year.
screeners are at work at the ferry docks
I feel much safer now! I would have never recognized the difference
between an oil tanker and a ferry without this information.
Only our ever-vigilant Homeland Security policies will make us all
sleep well at night.
Guard rescues two Hatteras-based boaters off Oregon Inlet
Well done to everyone involved. A very good outcome.
God Bless the U.S. Coast Guard. They are all heroes in my eyes. An hour
and a half from first call to rescue is a very impressive response
time. Then informing the family shows how awesome the USCG is.
office has updated radar
There used to be radar on the Outer Banks. It covered altitudes far
lower that the Newport radar can. Could the new Newport radar have
picked up the tornado that tore through Kitty Hawk a few years ago? Or
the more recent one in Grandy and Duck?
note: We asked Hal Austin, meteorologist at the National
Service office in Newport, N.C., to answer this reader
Here is his response:
The radar that used to be at the old NWS observing station at Cape
Hatteras scanned around the horizon only. If the radar operator wanted
to tilt the dish and look up and down through a storm, he had to stop
the rotation and turn a knob that would raise/lower the radar dish.
Also, the old radars could not detect velocity (motion), unlike the
current radars. They could only detect reflectivity. That radar was
decommissioned in the early ‘90s when the Newport office was built. The
current radar not only scans around the horizon, but can scan as many
as 14 different higher elevations.
The height of the radar beam in the lowest elevation angle over Kitty
Hawk from the Newport radar is around 10,600 feet. The same thing, but
from the NWS Wakefield radar, is just over 10,800 feet. Tornadic
circulations show up best in the lowest levels in the storm, which
would be below either radar. However, the old radar at Cape Hatteras
likely wouldn't have been any better, given the limitations I stated
readers appreciate Island Free Press
I have wanted to write you for a while now, to tell you thanks for the
wonderful job you and your staff do with the Island Free Press. My wife
and I started coming to the Outer Banks 16 years ago, with our three
sons. After a couple of years, we just kept moving progressively south,
until we landed in Avon!
We come down two or three times a year. This feels like our second
home, and this paper keeps us up to date with all the local happenings,
the issues Hatteras Island is dealing with, and such. We are grieved
about the beach access issues, but I thank you for all the information
you put out there for us to keep well informed with!
We will be back down in a few weeks, and of course we will go to
Ocracoke, hang out on the beach with our Jeep (and no, we will never do
anything to hurt the environment, unlike the environmentalists, who
seem to be bent on destroying the access as well as the economy), and
we will go have dinner at Howard’s Pub.
We will enjoy the fall trip, because much more is open in the way of
beach access, and we can enjoy complete solitude, peace, and “island
Thanks for the great paper.
Jim and Jemi
Letters to the
Editor....09.07.2011 10:15 am
Hurricane Irene: Letters about
the storm and the aftermath
From here in Chapel Hill, where I'm following the storm recovery on
Hatteras several times a day, the Island Free Press is by far the most
factual and timely news source. The writing, photography, professional
tone, relevant stories are many times better than any other news
source. The big name regional papers and TV stations don't have a clue
as to what's going on out there.
You've walked the talk and deserve all the praise you are getting--very
impressive performance all the way around.
Your readership will expand big-time after this event for sure.
What I really like is how you project the self-reliant and
selfless/generous/cooperative common sense character of Hatteras
We need to get visitors back to start the cash flow going out there.
Let visitors know at some point what's open for lodging, food, etc.
I know where I'll be doing Christmas shopping this year. I hope Anne's
place (Indiantown Gallery) didn't get flooded.
Stay healthy and best wishes.
Hi, all at Island Free Press. Thanks for all your great reporting
during the past trying days. It has provided a true
of the situation to those of us who are not there but who have a
serious interest. Thanks again!
Just a quick note to let you know how much we enjoy your online Island
My wife and I have been visiting the village since 1973 and have
considered it our second home. Our son Jim lived there for about 10
years, working as a mate for many of the fishing boats. I was there
whenever I could make the trip. We have visited about every year,
sometimes twice a year. However, storms seem to be slowing things down
I could go on and on. However, I did promise this would be quick. I
just found your paper today, while reading Frisco Rod and Gun fishing
forums. I will surely promote your site here in western Pennsylvania.
Thank you for your great work.
As frequent visitors to the villages of Rodanthe, Waves, and Salvo, we
thank you for the tremendous service that you do for the islanders and
for those who love Hatteras Island and its people. We were
supposed to arrive tomorrow for our vacation and your news and updates
have been the lifeline that has kept us informed. I know that life is
very difficult there right now, but I just want you to know that the
service you provide is gratefully appreciated far and wide.
Thanks from your faithful
I just wanted to let you know that you are doing an amazing job of
keeping everyone informed about the facts on the ground on Hatteras
Island. Very impressive.
Bravo to Gov. Perdue, the Wildlife Refuge folks, and local entities
that were no doubt involved, and NCDOT for your quick and proactive
efforts! Best of luck to the NCDOT and all contractors,
and others who undertake the repair and restoration project!
We have watched the ocean over-wash in Rodanthe for many years, both as
home owners and as lovers of Hatteras Island. It seems to me that is it
obvious that there need to be small bridges built over these breaches
rather than sink more money into road repairs. $10 million will go a
long way in building several small bridges. It will also let Mother
Nature go where she has been trying to go for many years.
do not waste more money just pushing sand around only to have to repeat
the process with the next nor'easter.
Awesome. As a non-resident homeowner (who does not rent the home, but
just wants to get back to the island), this is music to my
Thank you for being so up to date with your reports.
Great job of coverage. I hate to see the damage. I used to own
house in Avon. We have a "bridge child". (Remember that from
almost 21 years ago?) I Love Hatteras Island. Thanks for the
information and photos!
Like many here in the hills of West Virginia, I worried about the Outer
Banks, the wonderful, hardy people, and "my" lighthouse, the Hatteras
light. All I can do is pray for the best possible outcome and for a
full recovery. Poor health has kept us away since the spring after
Isabel, but my heart is with you, my prayers are for you, and if I had
any money to spare it too would be for your recovery. Thank you for all
our wonderful memories of many trips, of our stays in Buxton and the
great meals at Fish House.
Thank you for providing the news from Hatteras. I'd seen the
pictures, but I didn't know how the people there were coping with the
aftermath of the hurricane. My heart goes out to everyone
I have many precious memories, from many visits with my family to the
beautiful beaches there, over the past 40 or more years. It's
very special place to us, as I know it is to those who live there.
My thoughts and prayers are with you. If there's a disaster
relief fund please let me know.
I would just like to say how proud I am of all of the people on
Hatteras Island, especially the volunteers, firefighters, police
officers, EMTs, Richard Marlin, and Bob Helle. We live in a great
place. The people (locals) volunteering in Salvo, Waves and Rodanthe
area have been wonderful. We are truly one great BIG Family!
Anne and Don, we especially appreciate your excellent reports
photos of the Hatteras Island damage. We lived in Waves
Shores) for 30 years. We wish our friends and neighbors on
Hatteras Island the best.
Bob and Sandy
We vacationed in Hatteras village the second week of August and loved
the area. Sorry to see the damage Irene caused there.
My heart goes out to all the residents of the Outer Banks, We have been
vacationing in Hatteras for more than 30 years and hate to see such
destruction. Hoping all gets back to normal soon.
My family goes to Avon from time to time. The men fish and the women
relax. We all love being on the Outer Banks. Sorry that you took such a
hit from Irene. We are thinking about you and praying that you can put
"humpty" back together again. Glad to hear Diamond Shoals Restaurant is
up and running. It's one of our most favorite restaurants in the whole
world. Hang in there. Where there is a will, there is a way! When all
is said and done, it's just good to know you guys are alive!
We are keeping you in our thoughts and prayers, and wishing
hoping for your speedy recovery from Hurricane Irene. We cannot wait to
get back for a wonderful vacation.
Thank you for your updates. The pictures are something to look at! This
year would have been my family’s first trip to the Outer Banks. We were
planning to stay in Avon. As we have never been there, when you post
pictures, could you please put a description of where the pictures were
taken? I haven't seen any pictures from Avon, as far as I know. Could
you post them if you get them? Thanks.
Elm City, N.C.
This makes me so, so sad for the residents of this beautiful
island. You get such little news coverage when disaster
No one knows the extent of the damage there. Hatteras is my
favorite place for fun and relaxation, and I come as often as
possible. Sorry I am not there to help.
It was with mixed emotions that my husband and I viewed the excellent,
graphic photography that lent such a stark realism to the havoc that
Hurricane Irene wreaked on Hatteras Island and the destruction that
residents will have to contend with over the next few months.
were saddened that Irene's short existence was long enough to cause
this much damage to our favorite vacation spot, as well as other places
on her path north. But were truly relieved to see the men and
women working so hard to get the public utility infrastructure up and
running, so that the basics of simply existing in such chaos won't be
so difficult. If it were even remotely possible, we would be
there with you, freely volunteering our time and services to the
wonderful people who have been welcoming us to Hatteras Island since
1985. Our hearts are with you. Good Luck
We travel every year to Frisco. Thank you for keeping us updated on the
recovery. We send all our thoughts and prayers your way and cannot wait
to come back! We are (or were, maybe) scheduled to come on the 17th of
this month. We are fully prepared to come and work if need be! The
photos attached to this article are excellent!
WOW. As a long-time vacationer in Avon and Buxton, I can only imagine
some of the destruction not in the pictures. Stay safe everyone.
Beloved Outer Banks, heal quickly. We will be back.
Really?! A Ferry? Please build that bridge ASAP.
Dear Mrs. Anne C. Bowers and Don Bowers,
Of all the people down on that island, you snapped a picture of my dear
cousin at that back of that truck. I have spoken to her
times but seeing is better, and I thank you for capturing her in this
photo, as well as for the article. You have no idea how
this photo is. Again, thank you so much for this.
I am amazed at how strongly the Outer Banks residents face devastating
hurricanes, wind, and high water. Their ancestors solid people, and it
is clearly still the case. I am relieved to see all the help that they
are experiencing. I hope Highway 12 can be quickly repaired
fire and rescue personnel can get through, as well as the permanent
residents who live there. God bless all of you.
New Kent, Va.
One thing that has amazed me as I look at these pictures of people who
have lost everything is that in spite of it all, everyone of them is
wearing a smile! What an incredible testament to an amazing community
of people. When there, we have witnessed the same attributes in the
people we have met—generosity, kindness, sincerity, and integrity,
things that are practically nonexistent in most people these days. I
can certainly understand why you're proud to call Hatteras your home.
We want to help in any way we can so please let us know how to go about
meeting the needs there.
Thanks for the update regarding Hatteras Island. We lived for a while
in Indiantown Shores—across from Bowers. Your news is the best we have
been able to get. Do you have you any news about Indiantown Shores and
Brigands Bay? Good to hear Lou Browning is rehabing the birds. Say
hello to him from the Bartletts. We miss Hatteras and Frisco, and our
thoughts and prayers are with you all.
Joan and Jack
Thanks, Don, for all your efforts. We know hardly anything from up here
in Nags Head, and your pictures tell the story. I went to the ferry
docks by boat yesterday only to be turned away. I could not even walk
to my house which is only a 1/4 mile south of the ferry
was very frustrating. I am sick of government!
Thank you, Anne and Don, for your articles and photos! Your
efforts are greatly appreciated by those of us who hunger for news of
the beautiful but battered Hatteras Island!
What a wonderful and heartwarming story. It made me
when I read it. My heart aches for the beautiful people and
beautiful islands of the Outer Banks. My family was looking
forward to being there for our annual vacation the last week of
September, but now, who knows what will happen. What I do know
that, although my home is in Cleveland, my heart is in Hatteras.
Please know that all of your work on keeping us updated is so
unbelievably great. We are home owners in Hatteras village and our boat
is there as well.
We are just going out of our minds trying to get back to the island.
I understand the "why" of the situation, but there is something
inherently unfair about those who ignored the mandatory evacuation
order being allowed to be on the island right now, having people doing
everything they can to help them, while those who obeyed the order are
kept out of their homes and are unable to do anything about the damage
they have suffered. From the Isabel experience, I know that
need to remove soaked carpet, drywall, etc. immediately to prevent
further damage, like mold and mildew. Things that might have
out and been saved will be lost. I am most sorry for those
did the right thing and evacuated. My heart goes out to
I felt first hand, during Hurricanes Agnes, Camille and Fran, no
shortage of kindness or compassion. Even when weariness set in, people
dug deep to help others. Everything else in the world took a back seat
for a while, and old-fashioned handshakes and good old elbow grease
took over. The basics of life—food, water, shelter, and clothing—were
so appreciated. The same wonderful qualities I saw in people during
those hurricanes have blossomed in people in the aftermath of Hurricane
Irene. In extreme natural disasters, something beautiful comes out of
Anne, thanks for writing the news and posting Don's photos. It has been
the best source of info
Thank you. It is just too hard to see the pictures of Hatteras Island,
knowing how it was before. We have visited Ocean Waves Campground the
first week of October for some 10 or 12 years now. So during that week,
we just like to call the tri-villages “home.” I have enjoyed getting
the Island Free Press online. Thanks again, and I hope to see you all
May God bless all of the islanders there on Hatteras Island.
will be there to pump money back into the economy of that great
place. If you live in North Carolina, spend in North Carolina.
Our hearts go out to everyone—those who stayed during the storm, those
who left, and those of us who have rental property there and love the
Island. TV coverage for us was painful. We are
that there was no loss of life, but the loss of a way of life will be
felt for years to come. Stay strong. We can't wait
back down there to see our favorite place in the world.
for the postings and all of the information.
Thank you for doing such a terrific job of keeping us all up to
date. We own a home in Waves and are so anxious for any news
we can get. Prior to the hurricane, I looked forward to your
newsletter and couldn't wait to get to our beach house, even if just
for a short weekend. Now, I hunger for any word (most of it
coming from your newsletter) on the status of the island. My
heart goes out to all islanders, and I am saddened each time I see new
pictures of the devastation. I am heartened by the resiliency
the people of Hatteras Island, and I look forward to the time when I
can get my boots on the ground and assess our property and pitch-in
however I can. Keep up the good work and stay safe.
house falls into ocean this morning at Mirlo Inlet
We were to rent this house in one week and it is sad we will not have
the chance. We have watched with dismay over the last week
demise of this house.
Our family has vacationed in this home for the past three
We made a lot of memories there and really enjoyed visiting
Rodanthe. It's said to see the house demolished. We
the best for all the residents of
We appreciate all that you have done during Hurricane Irene with your
stories, slide shows, and links. Our hope is that everyone on
paper fared well during this difficult time.
We had a lot of fun at Tailwinds every Martin Luther King, Jr.
three-day weekend. It's so sad to see that wonderful cottage go away.
It is so sad to see this. Our family was the last to stay in this
cottage. We had to leave Thursday, before Hurricane Irene hit. We had
so many good times there over the last two years. We will miss this
vacation home. Tailwinds will stay in our memories forever.
How very sad.
This just breaks my heart. Those gorgeous houses were the first things
we saw, letting us know we were nearing our favorite destination in the
Rest in peace Tailwinds. You will be missed. Aloha
Yet another well-written story! Thank you for telling the story of
Irene in such visual terms.
On the ground
at New New Inlet
Was the snake in the picture a water moccasin?
note: Yes, it is a water moccasin. They are
commonly found after flooding.)
Some captions on the photos would be very helpful for those of us who
aren't familiar with the area. For instance, what is the building that
has been so severely damaged?
note: Sorry that we didn’t have time to include
The building is what is called the old ranger station. It was
built in the 1960s as the headquarters for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service, according to Mike Bryant, manager of Pea Island National
As always, great pictures. The island will always change due to storms,
but what will never change is its history and the nature of the people
who call it home. It's good to see everyone come together as a
community and rebuild this great place so it can still be enjoyed and
preserved. Being from Ohio and a regular visitor to Hatteras, I always
rely on the Island Free Press to keep me informed on what's going on,
and you all do a great job. No matter what, Hatteras and the Outer
Banks will always be my second home and a place where memories are made
and the good times come. Mother Nature will continue to batter the
island but she also finds a way to naturally build it back up. I think
that's what makes the Outer Banks what it is—a place of nature and free
spirits. There's good energy on the island, and that's what keeps it
alive and thriving. Good luck with the clean up and the repairing of
Highway 12. See you all next spring.
Hello and glad you are safe! I was just looking at the slide show from
Sept. 1. You took incredible, haunting photos. I own a condo in
Rodanthe, so I’m waiting to get in and see if there's any damage. Of
course, full-time residents need to get back to their homes first! I
was wondering what kind of snake that was that Donny took the photo of!
Scary but beautiful! Is that native to this area? If you can, please
let me know how Resort Rodanthe condos looked if you saw them. Thanks
so much for your updates. It's such a help when you’re having to wait
to see if there is damage to your condo or not. Thanks again and stay
Hello. I've been following all the reports closely since the hurricane,
and I am sorry for the damage that was caused. Thank you for providing
these images and updates. One question I have is: does anyone know how
the wildlife in and around Pea Island fared during the storm? I was
just there about a week before the hurricane struck, and I always visit
Pea Island to photograph all the herons, egrets, and other birds every
time I visit the Outer Banks.
Great pictures, Don. That was some storm. I didn't think she'd ever get
out of here. We didn't see anywhere near that kind of damage,
thankfully. Hope you all get some semblance of order and normalcy again
Thank God more people weren’t killed from Irene. Everything else can be
Irene -- I haven't checked in on the Breeze/Free Press for a long time.
Excellent, excellent, excellent coverage of everything. Don Bowers'
photos are stunningly (sadly) beautiful.
note: Thank you for the message, and I want to take this
opportunity to make it clear that the Island Breeze and the Island Free
Press are not the same newspaper. I once edited The Island
until The Virginian-Pilot fired me four years ago – after 16 years as
editor. Then I started the Island Free Press. I
absolutely nothing to do with The Island Breeze and no longer wish to
be associated with it. These days that association is
Fantastic pics! Is the snake "Crotalus"?
Why in the world would you put a snake picture in this slideshow? You
almost caused me to have a heart attack. I'm serious. I have severe
snake phobia and certainly wasn't expecting to see that picture when
looking at the damage photos. Not a wise or considerate move to insert
that picture. I will think twice about looking at your website again.
My health is too important.
note: We are sorry that this photo disturbed you. The snake
water moccasin, and they are an unfortunate fact of life here after
storm tides. We all need to know how to identify them.)
Hurricane Irene information and news travels slowly to islanders
I'm sure the people who remained on the island were the last to get
news about what was going on. The family members that evacuated also
had no information as to whether their loved ones were safe. The total
lack of information and communication has been atrocious! To be living
in fear and dread, with only pictures of devastation to judge by, is
agony. More should have been done to let the islanders use emergency
lines to at least let family members know they were OK. I was deeply
disturbed by the total lack of concern shown by officials. It seemed
that the only worry they had was how to salvage the last of the tourist
season. Shame on them!
Anne, My family and I have been following the aftermath of Hurricane
Irene. Our hearts break for the mess left behind. Buxton has been my
home-away-from-home for 34 years. We travel from Ohio, and Highway 12
is our favorite part of the journey. The feeling of peace and
excitement as we drive along Highway 12 is overwhelming. The
photographs you posted are amazing. Hopefully, all repairs will be made
and lives will be put back together. All of Hatteras and Ocracoke are
in our prayers.
relatively undamaged Ocracoke waits for visitors to return
Glad to know all are safe on the island. Hope power is back
and business gets a September surge.
Great update. Thanks.
So happy to hear that our favorite place in the world to visit has
survived so well through such a horrible storm. My family and I
stayed near the TV, waiting to hear any news about Ocracoke
and after the storm. We were expecting this sweet little village to get
hit very hard. We hoped and prayed God would protect it, and he did. We
are very thankful to God for his protection of Ocracoke village, and we
are looking forward to our annual visit in the summer of 2012. We have
been coming for the last 29 years. It is our home away from home. We
love Ocracoke and are so happy to know it has survived another storm.
God bless you all.
Living in New Hampshire, we are more accustomed to snow, but we too had
Hurricane Irene troubles. However, our hearts and thoughts were with
our Outer Banks friends. We have spent countless years camping and
lodging on the Outer Banks and love it. We plan to return in January
2012 to spend a month on Ocracoke Island, renting a home from B.J.
Oelschlegel, and we are looking forward to helping your economy grow in
The Decker and Shaw families are happy to hear that Ocracoke has not
been damaged too badly. We have been going to the island
1971, and we love it there so much. Love to Della Gaskill and
family and to all our pals at the Ocracoke Harbor Inn. We have been
praying for all of you for many days!
I promise I shall return to Ocracoke, as I miss my friends there.
People will come, lured by curiosity and by the lore of Ocracoke and
the Outer Banks. Once, I called Davis home, now my heart and soul is in
Ocracoke. Tell David Scott I'm coming soon.
Thank God things are not worse on dear Ocracoke. We worried
you before, during, and after the storm, and we appreciate this report.
It has given us some perspective on how you are all doing. Stay strong,
O’cokers. You're made of good stuff and are to be admired for your
hardiness. We'll be there for a week in October and will
you in our small way.
My husband and I visited the island and stayed at The Castle Aug. 7-10
for our anniversary. We loved the island and had a wonderful
time. We were planning our return to your island as we
back home. We can't wait to come back! Our prayers and
are with the residents of Ocracoke and Hatteras!
From The Chairman
Do you have any idea when you might be able to say whether visitors
will or won’t be able to enter on the 17th? With travel insurance, we
need a definite date before we can try to find another rental.
We are hoping and praying that we will be able to take our vacation,
which is scheduled for Sept. 9-24. Do you see this happening? It will
be our first family vacation back on the island in two years, and we
are so looking forward to it. We have been vacationing there since
1999. It has become a family tradition. But, first and foremost, the
residents of the island need to be able to have their lives back to
Thank you, Warren Judge! It is nice to see some mention from an
official source of the status of non-resident property owners like
myself. DCEM's postings only mention residents and visitors. I believe
that we, rightfully, fit into a category somewhere between the two.
From DCEM's postings, it could easily be inferred that they make no
distinction between non-resident property owners and
evacuate during storms to avoid taxing scarce resources in the
aftermath—a decision based on a reasonable expectation of timely access
to the island to assess and repair my properties afterward. I am
fortunate to have somewhere else to go.
While I entirely support an orderly, residents-first reentry plan, I do
believe that some accommodation should be made for property owners.
Given the current ferry-only access to the island, opening Hatteras to
visitors will likely result in a mad rush which may restrict many
owners from being able to access their homes in a timely fashion.
Thank you, Mr. Judge, for the outstanding leadership you have provided
during this difficult time. The plan for reentry is outstanding. I
appreciate your service to the people of Dare County.
Irene Aftermath Events
My husband and I would love to come to Ocracoke and help in ANY way
possible—either with the clean-up on Saturday or with anything else
that is needed—if we were allowed to come on the island. We are
scheduled for vacation Sept. 7, but would be there now to help support
island revenue and recovery if we could. We vacation every year on
Ocracoke only! It's our second home in our hearts. We were just married
at the lighthouse in July and are now considering moving there. We are
48 years old and very serious about helping the people and the island
however we can. The locals and the island itself always make you feel
welcome as soon as you get off the ferry. Love and Prayers to the
island families, and we hope to see you soon.
Irene Wallops Hatteras Island, Cutting the Island and all communications
Thank you so very much for your excellent updates. God bless all of you
on the Outer Banks. Our family has been vacationing there for nearly 40
years, and now my sister and nephew reside there. My family is
scheduled to visit Avon on Sept. 10, and I don't know if we will be
able to access our rental home. I just hope and pray that the residents
and businesses on the Outer Banks have a speedy recovery. You are all
in my prayers.
We worked at Camp Hatteras for two summers, in 2002 and 2004, and I
still keep in touch with friends in Waves. I can't remember
exactly where ferry dock is in Rodanthe. I have been following all the
stories and finally heard from our friends last night. Can you take a
pic or two of the dock at Rodanthe and the area around
looks pretty bad at Mirlo Beach, too. I have sent money to the
Salvation Army and Red Cross to help with supplies. The
are such a hardy people and were so welcoming to us “seasonals.” We
wish we could do more. Thanks for your good work.
Our hearts are breaking, looking at our favorite place on this
earth. We send our prayers to all who live there and to those
who, like us, hope to see things back to normal. We look
to a trip next year. We were lucky we came down in June this
year. There's no vacation like a Hatteras vacation!
Hope to see you next year. We'll be watching and cheering for
RWS Community Center is the center of life in villages ravaged by
The spirit of community that is evident on Hatteras Island is an
inspiration to us all. Our thoughts and prayers are with you
Rodanthe, Waves, and Salvo families: we miss you very much and our
thoughts and prayers go out to you. I wish we were there to help.
Jim and Emily
Bonner Bridge and Hatteras lighthouse pass inspection after earthquake
Will this new development alter the plan for the replacement of the
Bonner Bridge? Will its position need to be changed? Does anyone talk
note: There is no change in the plan for the replacement of
the bridge after Hurricane Irene.)
bachelors go on the auction block for a good cause
Sounds like a blast! Wish I had been there instead of
from surgery. My husband, Ranger Bob, and I live in Ocracoke
months out of the year and love it. Maybe I'll loan him out
year. I liked the fact that there were group things offered, and a
couple made a bid. Either way, I hope to join in the fun next