September 7, 2016
Dare Board talks about storm aftermath, damage estimates
By IRENE NOLAN
Storm Hermine and its aftermath dominated much of the discussion at
yesterday morning's meeting of the Dare County Board of Commissioners.
Hermine, which passed offshore of the Outer Banks, at about 8:45 on
Saturday morning after having spun up a tornado at a Hatteras village
campground in the early morning hours, packed a punch on the backside
of storm that many weren't expecting.
According to a very preliminary damage estimate by a county assessment
team on Sunday and Monday, high northwest winds and soundside storm
surge damaged at least 665 properties in Dare County, destroyed a house
in Southern Shores, and did a total of $2.5 million of damage in the
The preliminary estimate showed that $1.48 million of the damage was on
Hatteras Island, mostly from Pamlico Storm surge, which was highest on
the southern areas of the island, especially in the villages of Frisco
Teams were back out doing more assessments today, especially in
Hatteras village, where Commissioner Allen Burrus noted there was more
damage than the preliminary figures indicate.
The preliminary estimate showed that most all of the damage on Hatteras
Island occurred in Frisco, where 100 properties were listed with minor
damage totaling $1.4 million of the Hatteras Island total. The
majority of the damage, the report said, was in unfinished lower level
storage areas, not living areas, and was from soundside flooding.
The preliminary estimate said that Hatteras village "suffered minor
soundside flooding," when most residents would agree that it had the
highest water levels on the island, which some said were up to 5 feet.
The county's report listed only seven buildings in Hatteras village
with $89,000 in damage. The report said three homes had 4 to 6
inches of water in the living area on Queen Street and Kohler
Road. Two other homes had minor flooding in unfinished storage
areas, the county said. The report went on to say that two businesses
had minor water damage.
And the county noted that there was still a large amount of standing water on the roadways, making travel difficult and slow.
The estimate of damage in Hatteras village also includes two cabanas
that were destroyed by a tornado at about 1 a.m. early on Saturday
morning. The value was listed at $20,000.
The National Weather Service in Newport/Morehead City has confirmed the
tornado touchdown. Preliminary estimates from the NWS are that the
short-lived tornado was an EF0 on the Fujita scale with winds of 80
mph. It is estimated that the tornado cut a path 100 yards long
and 25 yards wide.
Three minor injuries were reported and several private camping trailers were also damaged.
The Weather Service has confirmed two other tornadoes -- in
Marshallberg and Straits, both in Carteret County. Both tornados were
estimated to be EF1s with winds of 95 mph. There were no reported
injuries, though both caused significant property damage.
Dare County's preliminary estimate of Hatteras Island damage said that
there were no reports of structural damage in Rodanthe, Waves, and
Salvo -- just general cleanup from yard debris.
Ocean overwash was also reported from Mirlo Beach to the Rodanthe Pier.
There were no reports of structural damage in Avon either -- also just cleanup from yard debris.
No structural damage was reported in Buxton, but the assessment was
done before Sunday morning's overwash at high tide by the motels and
streets off Old Lighthouse Road. This area will be reassessed if
Other areas of unincorporated Dare County reported $46,000 in damage,
mostly from a roof blown off a soundfront home in Colington.
In Dare's northern towns, the preliminary damage estimated totaled 548
structures with minor damage and six with major damage, one destroyed,
and one uninhabitable for a total of $1.025 million.
Commissioners generally praised the response of county workers, though
Burrus had the most comment on the storm and its aftermath. noting
that, "We can get caught as we did this time, though I am not placing
"The water on Hatteras Island went from dead low to 2 1/2 to 4 feet in less than 40 minutes," he said.
He said he thought there needed to be better communication between the
first responders and others out on the road and the county residents
and business owners who are needing information.
Burrus said he thought the county or the county board should contact
DOT about recurring standing water problems on Highway 12 just outside
Hatteras village and in such villages as East Lake on the mainland.
And he said he thought that wellness checks on elderly residents after the storm fell through the cracks.
He said there was much good to say about the response to the storm.
"But we got to face the fact that there were problems and we need to fit it," he added.
manger Robert Outten said the response was based on information that
called for winds in the 40-mph range, minor to moderate soundside
all the response, all of the efforts, all of the things that we do were
based on that information that we get from the National Hurricane
Center and the National Weather Service,” he said.
highest wind gust reported in Dare County by the National Weather
Service was 80 mph at Alligator River, where a truck driver was killed
when his rig blew into the railing.
Outten noted there would be post-storm discussion, as usual.
He also said that the county would plan a debris pickup, though it might not be scheduled for a few days.
The pickup will be done "in-house" by the sanitation department, he
said, since he said he doesn't think the damage in the county will be
high enough to qualify for federal funds for cleanup.
Ideally, he said, the county would like to do the debris pickup in one
pass, and urged folks who were able to take the debris to the transfer
station in Buxton.
Burrus urged the county do get the debris pickup done quickly, especially since hurricane season doesn't end until Nov. 30.
"Please don't take advantage of the debris pickup," said board Chairman
Bob Woodard. "Just because we had a storm, please don't clean your
NEXT BOARD MEETING
The next meeting of the Dare County Board of Commissioners has been
postponed and will be on Monday, Sept. 26, at 5 p.m. in the
Commissioners meeting room in Manteo.
Hatteras island residents can still make public comments from the
Fessenden Center in Buxton. The public comment period is
scheduled near the beginning of the board meeting.
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT SURVEY
Also, Dare County needs its residents to respond to an economic development survey.
county is working with two contractors -- North Carolina State
University and RTI International -- to develop an economic development
and diversification plan.
"Your involvement and input are critical to our success," the county said in a news release on its website.
the county wants as many folks as possible who live, work, and own
businesses in Dare County to take a short amount a time to answer a
survey that will help the contractors craft their economic
are asking residents and local business owners to share their opinions
and attitudes in relation to local growth, quality of life, and
economic development for Dare County," the posting on the website
added. "Please complete the online survey and share the link with
The survey can be accessed by either clicking on https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Dare_County_0816 or copying and pasting it into the browser on your computer, tablet or smart phone.
It should take less than 20 minutes to complete. And all responses are anonymous.
officials says say the survey data will be an important part of
understanding what growth and economic development policies residents
and business owners support.