December 9, 2014
coastal storm that has been torturing the Outer Banks since early
Sunday morning brought more overwash at this morning's high tide, but
Highway 12 has stayed open and all communications on Hatteras are back
to normal -- as in texting, e-mailing, Facebook.
UPDATE: Coastal storm still walloping Hatteras
but highway stays open...WITH SLIDE SHOW
By IRENE NOLAN
was cool and drizzly, but the wind has diminished. The ocean,
however, remains whipped into a fury, and sand and surging waves washed
over the island again, especially in north Buxton.
12 through all of Hatteras Island has been officially open at all times
since late yesterday afternoon, but travel can be rough at high
tide. And some overwash problems will probably last for another
day or so at high tide.
how it goes: Ocean dumps sand and water on the highway.
North Carolina Department of Transportation's intrepid crews get busy
with their equipment and start pushing the sand and water off the
highway. They work around the traffic, which is stopped at times
while they proceed.
are used to motoring in these conditions, but visitors are often not --
and even some regulars have been rattled at times with this week's mess.
water can get deep in places. There is often little warning when
you approach standing ocean water. It can be almost impossible to
see the lines on the highway and to gauge the water's depth, so running
off the road into wet sand is a threat. There is likely to be debris on
to say, travel should not be attempted in small, low cars.
Four-wheel-drive vehicles are best. Go slow, pay attention, and watch
for DOT equipment.
is a promise of sunny skies by week's end, though it will be cool for
the Hatteras Village Christmas Parade on Saturday and all the other
events this weekend on the island. This year's parade will be
broadcast live on Radio Hatteras. So if you are in your vehicle
along the side of Highway 12 in the village, you can stay toasty inside
and get the play-by-play on the festivities. Tune your radio to 101.5
A few storm notes worthy of mention:
of Century Link Internet service may still not be able to get onto the
Island Free Press website. Our tech guy at Hatteras Designs, Jim
Boyd, is working hard with Century Link to solve the issues. If
it's not fixed by now, it will be soon. And this is a problem
with wired Internet service only. You can go online with your
cell phone or other wireless device.
want to give a big shout-out to the outstanding, hard-working
volunteers at Radio Hatteras, who used more technical wizardry than
mere mortals can imagine to get the station back on the air after
yesterday morning's communications blackout.
what you may think, the radio station does not travel through the air
to you. It needs technical assistance -- like cables bringing
fiber-optic lines down the island. The power remained stable all day,
but that's where it ended. The communications blackout began at
about 9:30 and ended at 4 p.m. However, Radio Hatteras was back on the
air about 12:30 with updates on the situation for clueless folks
without Internet and cell phones. Let's hear it for Lou Browning, Mike
Hennessey, and Richard Marlin.
I want to nominate Carol Dillon, who owns the Outer Banks Motel in
Buxton, for the woman-of-the-century award -- or something like
that. Once again yesterday, we saw photos of Miss Carol, who is
now well up into her 80s, in her chest waders in front of her business
trying to beat back the Atlantic Ocean. I can't tell you how familiar
that image is to those of us who live here -- in hurricanes,
northeasters, you name it.
Carol is nothing but outspoken and unrelenting in her opinions about
the fact that she doesn't think federal and state agencies have done
one thing to solve the lousy hand that Mother Nature has dealt Hatteras
Island and probably even have contributed to it. No doubt she's stepped
on some bureaucratic toes and maybe folks get tired of hearing from
she's lived on the eroding Hatteras coastline all her life and, at this
point, she can say whatever she wants in my book. She is a lady to be
admired and respected.
CLICK HERE TO VIEW SLIDE SHOW