After months of battering storms, followed by lengthy repairs and public speculation on when – and even if – the Rodanthe Pier would reopen for the season, the word is out that the pier will be welcoming anglers once again starting Easter weekend.
pier has had a long history of brushes with storms, but this past fall
and winter have been especially brutal, with a section of the pier
being damaged -- and later unceremoniously removed by heavy seas --
during two major weather events.
October, after two weeks of northeast winds and the offshore passing of
Hurricane Joaquin, the middle section of the pier was badly damaged,
and then during a January northeaster, more than 100 feet of the pier
broke off – an unfortunate event that occurred right before
construction crews were to start repairing the original October damage.
were put back on the agenda for February, but once again, the local
weather threw a wrench in the works, and the construction had pause on
multiple occasions as more late-winter storms rolled through the area.
the good news is that the construction crew that’s been handling the
project -- LSI Marine Construction from Powells Point – has been
rolling along for the past couple of weeks, and as the last pilings are
being put in, the anglers who love to fish from the pier are happily
anticipating its grand reopening for the 2016 season on Saturday, March
are a couple more pilings to put in that will be done in the next two
weeks, and all repairs should be finished in the next two weeks as
well,” says one of the pier owners, Terry Plumbee.
a result of the near-complete renovation, the pier will be open from 7
a.m. until 7 p.m. this Saturday, Sunday and Monday, -- March 26-28
--and then full-time from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. until the pier lights are
repaired and night fishing can begin.
road to recovery has been a long one – with clearly a lot of obstacles
along the way – but it has been helped along by an outpouring of
long-term vacationers and tri-village locals happily remember going to
the pier with their parents or grandparents in the 1980s or earlier,
and as such, the effort to get the pier repaired and re-opened was
definitely a community endeavor.
GoFundMe page that was established to help get the pier back up and
running has already raised more than $4,000 from community members and
visitors alike, and as more raffles are announced, this number is
(hopefully) expected to grow.
fact, a current raffle is underway to help raise additional funds, with
a lot of prizes that will grab anglers’ attention. The grand prize is a
custom made spinning rod by Jim Focht of Rodanthe Rods with an Okuma
Ceymar 55 spinning reel, the second prize is a full-season pier pass,
and the third prize is a weekly pass for a family of four. There are
also a handful of locally acclaimed books -- a copy of "Gull
Island" by Elvin Hooper and a copy of "Got ‘Em On" by Clyde Coltrain --
that are up for grabs as well.
The drawing is scheduled for Memorial Day, and information on the current raffle can be found on the pier’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/RodanthePier/.
really appreciate everything from all the people who love the Rodanthe
Pier,” says Plumbee of the massive response. “It will go a long way
towards helping repair the pier.”
island fishing circles, the re-opening of the pier is certainly cause
for celebration, and local bait and tackle shops have been happy to
pass along the good news to customers that, yes, the pier will rise
definitely talked about in the tackle shop,” says Blake O’Sullivan of
Hatteras Jack in Rodanthe – one of the closest bait and tackle shops to
the pier. “I get asked about the pier by everyone coming in, and
everyone is wondering if it’s going to open again.”
customers are] definitely excited about it opening, and are even
surprised when they find out it’s opening soon,” he adds. “We’ve lost a
portion of the pier, but everyone is really positive about it, and
we’ll take what we can get.”
Indeed, frequent visitors who have been fishing off the Rodanthe Pier for years may notice a difference in size.
the pier extended for 700 to 800 feet in recent years, the newly
renovated pier will reopen at a slightly shorter stature and will
measure around 500 feet long.
so, the pier will still hover over waters that are roughly 20 feet
deep, and as the waters heat up, the first wave of anglers will have a
good opportunity to catch those blow toads, sea mullets, and puppy
Plans are in the works to upgrade the pier in the years to come, too.
In fact, a restaurant may be added to the pier as well, as early as 2017.
we can get past repairing the pier every year, that’s the next step –
to have some kind of restaurant added to the pier house,” says Plumbee.
The prospect of a longer pier is also still on the table.
will probably expand in the years to come, but we have to figure out if
it’s safe to do it,” says Plumbee. “We had built it out to 700 feet and
it didn’t last but a couple years because of the way the sand shifts,
so we have to determine if it’s even safe to go that far anymore.”
“We would like to have it back to 700 or 800 feet in the future, though,” he adds.
the meantime, Tri-Village residents and visiting anglers will have
their beachside icon back – a welcome happy ending to a story that
looked like it might not ever come to fruition.
really happy to be open again,” says Terry. “We have a lot of friends
who come down to see us every year and we’re looking forward to seeing
them. I’m excited to have part of the pier back.”