October 31, 2012

Wednesday’s Hurricane Sandy update;
community meeting scheduled

By IRENE NOLAN

Dare County Emergency Management said today in its hurricane recovery update that the North Carolina Department of Transportation, after an initial assessment, projects that Highway 12 from Rodanthe to the Bonner Bridge will be open by Thanksgiving.

That stretch of road remains closed because of sand and broken pavement, but Highway 12 is clear from Rodanthe south to Hatteras village.

Here is a summary of other news today on storm recovery.

Community meeting with county and DOT

The Avon Volunteer Fire Department will host a community meeting tomorrow – Thursday, Nov. 1 – at 1 p.m. at the fire station.  Representatives from Dare County and DOT will be present to answer questions, and all are invited to attend.

Kenny Brite of the fire department said he set up the event after several villagers asked him if there would be a meeting for the community to get answers to some questions.

In other news:

Hatteras UMC Coastal Arts and Craft Day postponed

Because of Hurricane Sandy, the Hatteras Methodist Women’s Coastal Arts and Craft Day has been re-scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 10, from 9 a.m. - 2 pm. Also the location of this event has changed. It will be at the Hatteras Community Building, located between the post office and the library.

Emergency Ferry information

Emergency ferry service started yesterday from Stumpy Point to Rodanthe and will operate with restricted entry on the following basis:-

  • Departing Stumpy Point at 6 a.m., 8, 10, noon, 2 p.m., 4 and 10.
  • Departing Rodanthe at 7 a.m., 9, 11, 1 p.m., 3, 5 and 7.

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 re-entry permit.

Hatteras-Ocracoke ferry back in service

The DOT Ferry Division starting running the Hatteras-Ocracoke ferry this afternoon on an amended schedule.

The Hatteras-Ocracoke schedule will be:

  • Departing Hatteras at 6 a.m., 8, 10, noon, 2 p.m., 4, 6, 8, 10 and midnight; and
  • Departing Ocracoke at 5 a.m., 7, 9, 11, 1 p.m., 3, 5, 7, 9 and 11.

Law enforcement will be present to assist with restricted entry into Dare County, http://www.darenc.com/EmgyMgmt/ for further information.

Dare County Emergency Management says that visitors cannot travel to Ocracoke and return to Hatteras.

Entry to Hatteras is restricted to the same schedule as the emergency ferry.

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 re-entry permit.

Ferry information is available by calling 800-293-3779 (BY-FERRY) and pressing 1, or via Twitter at www.twitter.com/ncdot_ferry.

Sound ferries to Ocracoke

Ferries started running on the regular schedule today to Ocracoke from Cedar Island and Swan Quarter.  There are no restrictions on riding the ferry, but access to Hatteras through Ocracoke will not be available to visitors.

For more information on schedules or reservations, call 800-293-3779 (BY-FERRY) and pressing 1, or via Twitter at www.twitter.com/ncdot_ferry


Bonner Bridge
 
Initial structural inspections yesterday determined that the bridge was safe for use by emergency vehicles. NCDOT and contractors working on Highway 12 south of the bridge are using it to access Pea Island. The inspection did indicate repairs are needed on tension cables within the bridge deck on several spans, and the department is working to award an emergency contract for these repairs. The initial scour inspection also occurred Tuesday afternoon, and no noticeable change in water depth around the bridge’s support columns was detected. Additional surveys using side-scan sonar will take place today or tomorrow. The bridge cannot open to traffic until Highway 12 is repaired, and the bridge repairs are expected to be complete before the roadway repairs.

Highway 12 on Pea Island

Crews have 15 pieces of equipment -- working from north to south -- clearing sand and water from the roadway between Bonner Bridge and the temporary bridge, utilizing NCDOT and contractor equipment. Additional equipment will be moved from Kitty Hawk as that area gets cleared.

Sand on the roadway is 3 to 4 feet deep in places. More than three miles of dunes have been lost or severely damaged. 

Initial inspections of the temporary bridge are continuing. 

At Rodanthe, surveyors are conducting a survey today to establish the extent of damage.
 
Highway 12 on Hatteras Island 

Some sand remains on the roadway at a few isolated locations, but the road is open to traffic from Rodanthe to the Hatteras ferry terminal. Crews are using three pieces of equipment to continue to clear the road. 

Highway 12 on Ocracoke

Crews are running four pieces of equipment as they continue to clear sand from the roadway. They have made enough progress to open one lane to traffic; both lanes are expected to be open tomorrow. The Hatteras – Ocracoke ferry resumed operation at 1 p.m. today. 
 
Schedule for repairs

The department is working with other state and federal agencies, as well as contractors, to determine next steps and a timeline for repairs. Initial estimates are that the most extensive damage, at Rodanthe and Kitty Hawk, could take several weeks to repair. However, the department will have a more specific time estimate over the next several days as more information is known.

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