October 13, 2016


UPDATE: County issues damage estimates,
allows more visitors on Hatteras


By IRENE NOLAN

Dare County said today that Hurricane Matthew’s sweep through Dare County caused $43 million in damages to almost 4,500 structures in Dare County -- more than half of the damage was on Hatteras Island.
Inspectors from the county's tax office have been fanning out through the county all week to compile the estimates, which are preliminary and may change.

Also today's Dare County Emergency Management's Control Group allowed visitors to the Hatteras Island villages of Rodanthe, Waves, Salvo, Avon, and Buxton. Beginning at 7 a.m. on Friday, visitors will be allowed in Frisco, and at 7 a.m. Saturday, the most heavily damaged village, Hatteras, will be open to visitors.

INITIAL DAMAGE ASSESSMENT

"Hurricane Matthew affected all areas of Dare County, causing significant and widespread damage, mostly from heavy rains, wide spread damage due to high winds, and widespread power outages," county tax assessor Greta Skeen wrote in her report.  "Many areas that are not normally flooded experienced flooding due to the amount of rain brought by the storm."

Roughly 13 percent of improved properties countywide suffered some level of property damage as a result of the storm.

Hatteras Island had the highest preliminary damage figure -- $23 million.  Properties on Hatteras also suffered the most damage  in Tropical Storm Hermine on Sept. 3.

A total of 560 structures were affected on Hatteras Island. Three received minor damage, 182 had major damage, and one was destroyed.

The areas with the highest concentration of properties suffering major damage were in Frisco and Hatteras village.

HATTERAS VILLAGE.  A significant number of properties suffered major damage from severe soundside flooding, and flooding from excessive rainfall. Water levels in some living areas of houses were reported at 5 feet and above. Most commercial properties suffered major flood damage.  Some marinas suffered major damage to their infrastructures. In Hatteras village, 271 properties were affected.  One has minor damage, 122 have major damage and none were destroyed.  The preliminary total amount of damage is $12.5 million.

FRISCO. Properties also were significantly affected by soundside flooding and excessive rainfall in some areas.  One residence in Brigand's Bay in Frisco -- on the corner of Buccaneer Drive and Freebooter -- was destroyed by fire that the fire departments could not reach because of the high water levels. Another residence suffered major damage from a basement wall collapse. In Frisco, 271 properties were affected. 54 have major damage and one was destroyed.  Preliminary damage estimate is $7.7 million.

BUXTON. The village had minor flooding from ocean overwash and minor flooding in other areas from storm surge, rainfall, and wind. In Buxton, 54 properties were affected.  One had minor damage and six had major damage. Preliminary total damage is $1.2 million.

AVON. Properties suffered minor damage from flooding and wind.  In the village, 55 properties were affected with a preliminary damage total of $1.1 million.

SALVO.  One property was affected for a preliminary total of $7,200.

WAVES.  One property was affected for a total of $6,310.

RODANTHE. Twenty properties were affected, and one had minor damage.  Preliminary damage total is $413,460.

In the unincorporated areas of Dare County, most properties were affected by heavy rains, high winds, falling trees, and flooding. In these areas, 196 properties were affected -- 94 had minor damage and 38 had major damage. Preliminary damage in unincorporated Dare is estimated at $8.2 million.

In Dare County's six incorporated towns, properties were damaged by high winds, flooding rainfall, falling trees. Manteo also saw damage from storm surge.

The preliminary damage total in the towns is $11.4 million. A total of 3,115 structures were affected -- 284 had minor damage and 14 had major damage, and three were destroyed.

The initial report will be updated with updated information when it becomes available.

Click here to see the preliminary damage estimate report.

FEDERAL AND STATE ASSISTANCE

Dare County is one of the counties in the state eligible for federal aid for storm response, including debris removal.

Also, Dare County residents can NOW apply for individual federal assistance. The county says residents can go ahead and complete a FEMA application to speed up the process. For information on FEMA and to apply online, visit https://www.disasterassistance.gov.

In addition, Gov. Pat McCrory announced that disaster unemployment assistance is now available for people in 20 counties, including Dare, because of the effects of Hurricane Matthew.
 
The governor has instructed the Division of Employment Security to not enforce the one-week waiting period and job search requirements for people whose employment or self-employment has been lost or interrupted as a direct result of Hurricane Matthew.
 
Workers who became unemployed as a direct result of the effects of Hurricane Matthew may be eligible for unemployment insurance benefits under the Disaster Unemployment Assistance program. Business owners affected by the storm may also qualify for benefits. 
 
VISITOR RE-ENTRY

Visitors were allowed back onto the Hatteras Island villages of Rodanthe, Waves, Salvo, Avon and Buxton today.

Tomorrow, visitors will be allowed into Frisco, beginning at 7 a.m., and they will be allowed back to Hatteras village at 7 a.m. Saturday.

Today, Dare County Sheriff's Office deputies and Park Service rangers staffed a roadblock at Highway 12 and Buxton Back Road.

Lt. Greg Wilson of the Sheriff's Office said traffic was steady all day at the roadblock but it wasn't backed up at any point.  Most of the people who were turned away wanted to get to Frisco to surf or to Frisco or Hatteras to fish.

Tomorrow's road block will be at the NPS Frisco bathhouse.

The Sheriff's Office said that visitors who are already in Hatteras will need a letter from their rental management company affirming that they are renting property in those villages in order to travel back and forth through the road block.

Ocracoke is still closed to visitors, though ferries are running.

In today's emergency management bulletin, Hyde County said that visitors may be allowed to re-enter Ocracoke on Monday, Oct. 17.  The Ocracoke deputy control group is scheduled to meet on Saturday   to make that decision.


            
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