Local News

Not all are happy with DOT's chosen alternative for north Rodanthe

Holding signs and chanting “Save our Sounds,” a small group of northern Rodanthe property owners gathered in front of the Rodanthe-Waves-Salvo Community Building on Tuesday evening to protest the bridge project that they say will ruin kiteboarding off their Pamlico Sound beach and hurt property values, livelihoods and lifestyles in their neighborhood.

But many long-time residents seem relieved that something is finally going to be done to keep traffic flowing on Highway 12, the only thoroughfare on Hatteras Island.
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New flood mapping preview tops busy Board of Commissioners meeting

At its meeting on Monday evening, June 20, Dare County's Board of Commissioners got a presentation on the county's long-awaited new flood maps that will be released to the public on Thursday, June 30.

In addition to the flood mapping information, the board took action to support a study of a multi-use pathway in Frisco and Buxton, hired a contractor to help with permits for dredging Hatteras Inlet, and supported the Tourism Board in a dispute over an auditor's report. 
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July 4 celebrations scheduled for Hatteras and Ocracoke

Fireworks are returning to Ocracoke Island this year and are again scheduled on Hatteras Island at Avon Pier, and both Hatteras village and Ocracoke have events and activities scheduled for much of the day on Monday, July 4,  including the traditional and very popular Old Time Parade in Ocracoke and the newer but popular Golf Cart Parade in Hatteras. 
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Coast Guard saves vessel, assists four off Hatteras Inlet

The Coast Guard saved four people Thursday after their vessel started taking on water about nine miles off Hatteras Inlet.

Watchstanders at the Sector North Carolina Command Center in Wilmington received a call for assistance at 3:17 p.m. from the 42-foot sport fishing vessel Matador, reporting that it was taking on water southeast of Hatteras Inlet. 
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Ocracokers question ferry personnel firings, Hatteras Inlet operations

The Ocracoke community is buzzing over the firings Friday, June 10, of 11 North Carolina Ferry Division workers at the Silver Lake Ferry terminal operations. Word was out over the weekend after seven career employees and four temporary employees were dismissed.
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More emergency dredging in Hatteras Inlet to begin soon

The emergency dredging of Hatteras Inlet was the prime topic of discussion at the Oregon Inlet and Waterways Commission meeting on Monday, June 13. The imminent project has been fast-tracked by the North Carolina Department of Transportation and other agencies involved and is scheduled to begin within a week. 
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31 seniors receive diplomas at Cape Hatteras Secondary graduation....WITH SLIDE SHOW AND VIDEO

Thirty-one seniors at Cape Hatteras Secondary School of Coastal Studies  received their diplomas at graduation exercises on Saturday evening, June 11. Friends and family joined the graduates in The William P. Dillon Memorial Gymnasium on a warm and sunny evening to celebrate the solemn yet festive occasion.
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Six-hour communication outage hits Hatteras and Ocracoke

A six-hour communication outage made life interesting, if not difficult, for Hatteras and Ocracoke island residents and visitors today.

Shortly after 10 a.m., all forms of communications stopped -- internet, all cell phone service, cable television, and some land lines. 
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Jones sweeps Republican primary, will face Democrat Reeves in November

U.S. Rep. Walter B. Jones easily dismissed his competition in the Republican primary for the Third Congressional District seat and will run for his 12th term in the U.S. House in November against Democrat Ernest T. Reeves.

Meanwhile, in the non-partisan race that will determine which two candidates will face off in November for a seat on the North Carolina Supreme Court, incumbent Justice Robert H. Edmunds and challenger Michael R. Morgan were leading in a field of four candidates.
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Colin brushes by Cape Hatteras, races out to sea

The National Weather Service lifted all tropical storm warnings and flash flood watches for North Carolina coast, including Hatteras and Ocracoke islands, at 2 p.m. this afternoon.

After a night of heavy -- but apparently not record -- rainfall, the sun was shining by 2 this afternoon, even as the National Hurricane Center reported that the center of now Post-tropical Storm Colin was located just 25 miles east of Cape Hatteras.
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UPDATE: Tropical storm warning now in effect for Hatteras, Ocracoke

Late on  Monday afternoon, the National Hurricane Center extended its tropical storm warning to include much of the southeast coast up to Oregon Inlet, which means that Hatteras and Ocracoke islands are now in the warned area.

According to the local National Weather Service office in Newport/Morehead City, N.C., Tropical Storm Colin is located 730 miles southwest of Buxton but will quickly move northeast overnight and Tuesday along the North Carolina coast.
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Tropical Storm Colin forecast to bring more rain to soggy islands

Tropical Depression Bonnie finally headed east of Cape Hatteras and into the Atlantic on Friday -- becoming a tropical storm again before giving up the ghost -- and now Tropical Storm Colin is headed our way.

Bonnie's record rainfall is barely a memory, and the National Weather Service in Newport/Morehead has already issued a flash flood watch for the Outer Banks from 8 p.m. this evening until 2 p.m. on Tuesday.
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Senate budget retains ferry tolls, adds priority pass fee

The North Carolina General Assembly this week will begin the negotiating process on the two chambers’ differing versions of their respective budgets, and ferry tolls and $150 priority passes are back in the mix.
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Dare board takes action to dredge troublesome Hatteras Inlet channel

For the first time, Hatteras islanders stepped up to the microphone at the Fessenden Center in Buxton this morning to speak to the Dare County Board of Commissioners at their regular monthly meeting in Manteo via a live hookup.

Four islanders spoke during the public comment session, and all four addressed problems with shoaling in the channel in Hatteras Inlet that has become known to watermen as the "Connecting Channel."

Later in the meeting, the commissioners voted unanimously to approve up to $150,000 from the county's inlet management fund to help pay for the N.C. Department of Transportation Ferry Division to take another shot at dredging the troublesome area that commercial, recreational, and private boaters must use to get to and from the Atlantic Ocean. 
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Board approves Buxton special district for beach nourishment

At its meeting on Monday morning, June 6, the Dare County Board of Commissioners unanimously passed a resolution establishing a service district in north Buxton to help pay for next year's planned beach nourishment project.  The board also approved the 2017 county budget, which includes a tax rate of 25 cents per $100 of valuation in the new district. 
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NCDOT plans June public hearings on North Rodanthe bridge

The North Carolina Department of Transportation is planning a series on public hearings on the Outer Banks from June 20 - 22 on its preferred alternative for bridging a troublesome "hot spot" along Highway 12 in north Rodanthe and S-curves on Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge. 
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North Rodanthe bridge gets federal approval to move forward

The North Carolina Department of Transportation received approval yesterday from the federal government to move forward with the planning of a bridge in north Rodanthe that would carry traffic over an area that is vulnerable to frequent damage and ocean overwash in storms. 
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Danger of hurricane storm surge is topic of 'To the Point' radio interview....WITH AUDIO

If you missed the presentation at the Fessenden Center on Saturday, May 21, on the dangers of storm surge during tropical cyclones -- featuring a storm surge expert from the National Hurricane Center -- you can catch up with the audio of  the newest edition of "To the Point," the Radio Hatteras interview show, hosted by Island Free Press editor Irene Nolan. 
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Bonnie is finally gone and sunny skies return -- for now

Tropical Depression Bonnie kept trucking east over the Atlantic overnight -- never making it back to tropical storm status -- and sunny skies returned to the Outer Banks this morning. Roads on Hatteras and Ocracoke began drying out, although there is still standing water in places, especially east of Hatteras village, in southern Avon, and in the tri-villages.

The heavy rain of the past week is now  a storm event for the record books, but the National Weather Service says we can still expect showers from an approaching cold front over the weekend, especially on Sunday when there is a slight risk for severe weather.
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Dare County releases video update on new bridge construction...WITH VIDEO

Dare County has released another update on the construction of two bridges along Highway 12 on Hatteras Island -- the new Bonner Bridge over Oregon Inlet and the new temporary bridge over the Pea Island Inlet.

This newest video documents the first piling for the Bonner replacement, which was driven into the sand in the inlet on May 11, the concrete panels that are being constructed on northern Pea Island which will form part of the southern approach to the new span, and information for travelers who need to use the highway during the construction. 
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Coastal Resources Commission tackles sandbag rules again

With its temporary sandbag rules tossed aside over a technicality, the state Coastal Resources Commission this month set its sights on drafting the permanent rules it needed to do anyway.

The CRC has limited wiggle room within the legislative mandate passed last summer regulating the erosion control structures, but it will be able to roll much of the intended temporary rules into the proposed final state rules for sandbags on beaches. 
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Near normal hurricane season is most likely this year, NOAA says

NOAA's Climate Prediction Center says the 2016 Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June 1 through Nov. 30, will most likely be near-normal, but forecast uncertainty in the climate signals that influence the formation of Atlantic storms make predicting this season particularly difficult. 
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Dr. Beach chooses Ocracoke as No. 4 on Top 10 list

Dr. Beach’s  annual list of the Top 10 U.S. beaches was released yesterday, just before the Memorial Day weekend, and a beach the Cape Hatteras National Seashore is again on the list.

This year the Ocracoke Lifeguarded Beach is back on the list again -- ranking as fourth in the 10 best.
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New skatepark under construction in Buxton

The new Hatteras Island skatepark is currently under construction next to the baseball field at the Fessenden Center in Buxton, with a potential completion date of Memorial Day weekend.

“That’s the goal,” says Tim White, the program director for the Dare County Parks and Recreation Department, although he notes that an upcoming forecast of several rainy days may slow down the progress of the construction. 
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