year on Hatteras and Ocracoke islands has been less eventful than the
past few, which brought us hurricanes Irene and Sandy, along with major
closures of Highway 12 north of Rodanthe for those storms and frequent
This year, the tropical cyclone season in the
Atlantic was uneventful – with fewer storms than predicted. Only
one storm made landfall in the U.S. – Tropical Storm Andrea in early
June, which came ashore in the Florida panhandle and brought some high
seas and gusty winds to the islands.
A northeaster in early March did play havoc with Highway 12 – with both soundside and ocean storm tides.
by and large, travel over the Bonner Bridge and on Highway 12 was
really an improvement over 2011 and 2012 – until safety concerns around
scoured-out bridge pilings closed the span suddenly on Tuesday, Dec. 3,
stranding many on one side or the other of Oregon Inlet.
bridge was closed for 12 days, while islanders, visitors, and suppliers
coped with the lengthy trip between Rodanthe and Stumpy Point on the
Life returned to normal when the bridge opened on Sunday, Dec. 15.
once again, Ocracoke is dealing with a shoaled up ferry channel.
Ferry runs are longer, and the Hatteras-Ocracoke ferry schedule is
In addition to transportation woes, the islands had
to cope with a two-week partial government shutdown in October that
closed many facilities and access areas on the Cape Hatteras National
Both residents and visitors seemed to take it in stride and make the most of the inconveniences.
2013 was fairly uneventful with high school graduations, fundraisers
such as the Hatteras Island Cancer Foundation Fun Run and Kiwanis
Club’s Bike the Light, and another successful Day at the Docks and
Blessing of the Fleet.
In addition, Ocracoke had the first Blackbeard’s Pirate’s Jamboree.
are still a fact of life on the islands. Two sailboats washed up
on Pea Island in the fall, and one is still there, since the owner
can’t afford to salvage it.
One local landmark, the Bodie Island Lighthouse, was reopened for climbing this year after several years of restoration.
another landmark, The Cape Hatteras Fishing Pier – aka the Frisco Pier
– which has been closed because of storm damage for several years, has
been sold to the National Park Service, which plans to tear it down and
replace it with a beach access area.
Island Free Press photographer Don Bowers has chosen the photos in the slide show as his favorites for 2013.
Enjoy! And happy new year.
CLICK HERE TO VIEW SLIDE SHOW
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