October 30, 2012
Storm tide has receded, but travel to and
from the islands is still a problem
......WITH SLIDE SHOW
By IRENE NOLAN
It was a glorious day on Hatteras Island as cleanup from Hurricane Sandy’s brush by the Outer Banks began in earnest.
was astounded when I woke up this morning to bright sunshine for the
first time in four days and looked out my window. Here in
Brigands’ Bay in Frisco, the storm tide was all but gone. Only a
few puddles remained in the yards.
We hadn’t expected that to
happen until much later today, but then Sandy has been a challenge to
forecasters for a couple weeks now.
Travel continued to be a
problem on Hatteras and Ocracoke as North Carolina Department of
Transportation crews started clearing sand and water from the ocean
storm surge on Highway 12 on both islands.
Here are some
highlights from the day’s news, which you can read more about in more
detailed on-the-scene stories filed by Connie Leinbach on Ocracoke and
Anne Bowers on Hatteras.
- NCDOT crews began clearing sand and
water on northern Ocracoke Island and on Hatteras between Hatteras
village and Frisco and in northern Buxton. Highway 12 is now
passable from Rodanthe to Hatteras village. Ocracoke could have
at least one lane open by tomorrow.
- Highway 12 is still closed
from Rodanthe to the Bonner Bridge. The road is damaged at Mirlo
Beach in northern Rodanthe, at the S-curves, and south of the new
bridge at Pea Island Inlet. DOT is continuing to clean the sand
and water off the highway to assess the situation and estimate how long
it will take to reopen the highway. A better idea of when the highway
will be repaired could be available tomorrow.
- DOT’s Ferry
Division began running the emergency ferry from Stumpy Point on the
mainland to Rodanthe today. Click here for a schedule and more
- Everyone, including visitors, can use the
emergency ferries to leave Hatteras Island. However, visitors
cannot enter Hatteras on the ferries. Only Hatteras residents,
essential personnel, employees of island businesses, and non-resident
property owners can enter the island. Residents need a valid
North Carolina driver’s license, essential personnel need a white
disaster re-entry permit or critical personnel permit, and non-resident
property owners and employees of Hatteras businesses need a burgundy
- Sound ferries will start running on the winter
schedule tomorrow to Ocracoke from Cedar Island and Swan Quarter.
All people, including visitors, can use the ferries. For more
information and reservations, Ferry information is available by calling
800-293-3779 (BY-FERRY) and pressing 1, or via Twitter at www.twitter.com/ncdot_ferry.
Hatteras-Ocracoke ferry is not running yet, but may be when Highway 12
on Ocracoke is cleared from the Pony Pens to the ferry dock. Check for
updated information tomorrow.
- DOT has also inspected the Bonner
Bridge. According to this afternoon’s media release, crews have
completed an on-site inspection of the bridge. A scour inspection was
completed this afternoon when crews were safely able to get into boats
and examine the water depth around the bridge’s support columns. DOT
will also examine how the sand has shifted. So far, there is no
reason to believe that the Bonner Bridge is not safe, but more
information on the inspections should be available tomorrow.
returned to Hatteras Island late this afternoon after Century Link
crews were airlifted by Dare County Medflight to Rodanthe to repair a
fiber-optic cable. From Sunday morning until today, Internet access was
spotty and sporadic.
- Many readers have e-mailed me or Island
Free Press to ask if they can get to Hatteras this weekend or how long
it might take DOT to repair the highway. The answer right now is
that nobody knows. However, it seems very unlikely at this point
that Highway 12 will be repaired by the weekend. Don’t count on
it. You can monitor the latest on road conditions and Hurricane
Sandy recovery on the Dare County website, www.darenc.com.
National Park Service may reopen the seashore beaches to vehicles
tomorrow. The latest information on that will be available on the
seashore website, www.nps.gov/caha or by calling park headquarters at 252-473-2011.
Cape Hatteras Anglers Club will make a decision by Friday, Nov. 2, on
whether its annual CHAC Invitation Surf Fishing Tournament will happen
as planned next week. The tournament is schedule to start
Wednesday, with fishing days on Thursday and Friday.
Again, more information is available in the other stories we have posted and will post tonight.
this story is a slide show of aerial photos that Island Free Press
photographer Don Bowers took early this afternoon of Hatteras and
Ocracoke. And Island Free Press will continue to keep you up to date on
the Bonner Bridge, Highway 12, and travel on the island.
CLICK HERE TO VIEW SLIDE SHOW