Local News









Surfing-Related Fatality Occurs Off Beach in Rodanthe

During the afternoon of September 21, 2017, a  male with a surfboard attached to his ankle, was observed floating face-down in the water just north of the village of Rodanthe at Cape Hatteras National Seashore.
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Changes for Large Item Pick Up in Unincorporated Areas of Dare County

Dare County Public Works has announced that large item pick up in the unincorporated areas of the county, previously scheduled twice each year, will now take place annually. The next large item pick up will be conducted late January through April, 2018.
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Hatteras Island Highlights of the September 18 BOC Meeting

The Dare County Board of Commissioners (BOC) covered a handful of issues that affected Hatteras Islanders at their September 18 meeting in Manteo.
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Governor Vetoes Bill that Would Repeal Plastic Bag Ban

Gov. Roy Cooper said on Thursday morning that he will veto an environmental bill that would have repealed the plastic bag ban on the Outer Banks.

House Bill 56, which was passed by the General Assembly in late August, included a more prominent plan to give $435,000 to the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority and the University of North Carolina at Wilmington to deal with a pollutant called GenX, which was recently identified in the Cape Fear River waters.
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Jose Departs, But Some Standing Water Remains

Per the NCDOT, there was no additional ocean overwash to accompany Wednesday morning’s high tide, however, there are still patches of deep standing water all along NC Highway 12. 
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UPDATE:
NC 12 is open to traffic

NC 12 is open to traffic as of 12:15 p.m. on Tuesday, September 19, per the NCDOT. Motorists are urged to please drive carefully and slow down through standing water.

Soundside flooding was also reported for several hours this morning in Hatteras village and in north Avon. Ocean overwash is expected to continue into this evening, especially around high tide which is at approximately 7:30 p.m.


Highway 12 Closed North of Pea Island Visitors Center; Ocean Overwash Continues

The NCDOT reported on Tuesday morning that NC Highway 12 is temporarily closed just north of the Pea Island Visitors Center until the tide subsides. Major ocean overwash has affected multiple villages, and travel is currently hazardous. Hatteras Island schools have also been closed for Tuesday.
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 Jose Causing Ocean Overwash; High Winds

Rough surf from Hurricane Jose has caused ocean overwash in several hotspots on Hatteras Island, particularly in the southern Avon area of Kinnakeet Shores and in northern Rodanthe.
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Large Waves and Rough Seas Expected to Accompany Jose


Per the 5:00 p.m. update from the National Hurricane Center, the center of Jose is forecast to pass well east of the North Carolina coast on Monday, and tropical-storm-force winds are currently expected to remain offshore of the Outer Banks.
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Hatteras-Ocracoke Ferries on Amended Schedule for Next Two Weeks

Due to mechanical issues, the North Carolina Ferry Division’s Hatteras-Ocracoke route will be on an amended schedule from Tuesday, Sept. 19 through Monday, Oct. 2. 
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Clear Skies and Smooth Sailing for 2017’s Day at the Docks...WITH SLIDE SHOW

It was clear skies and smooth sailing for Day at the Dock’s Saturday event, as attendees were treated to brilliant sunny weather that lingered all day long.

The annual festival, which originated in 2004, has grown continually over the years, and 2017’s Saturday event spanned from the Village Marina in Hatteras village all the way to Odens Dock, with booths and activities located every step of the way.
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Coast Guard rescues 5 after boat capsizes in Oregon Inlet

A Coast Guard boat crew rescued five people after their boat capsized in the surf in Oregon Inlet, Saturday.


A mariner in the area contacted Coast Guard Sector North Carolina watchstanders in Wilmington on VHF-FM channel 16 at about 5 p.m., reporting that a 54-foot fishing boat flipped in the surf, east of the Herbert C. Bonner Bridge.   
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Buxton Beach Nourishment Update - Friday, September 15

Weeks Marine reports that swell from Hurricane Jose is expected to impact the Buxton borrow area and waves may reach as high as 12 feet this weekend and early next week.  Weeks Marine decided to tow the dredge C.R. McCaskill out of the area and head to Norfolk later this afternoon.  The dredge will remain in the safe harbor in Norfolk until the weather passes.

Watch the latest beach nourishment video update from Current TV regarding the beach nourishment projects in Kitty Hawk and Buxton on YouTube - https://youtu.be/_A22iC0bdE8


Dynamic Shelly Island Sandbar Connecting to Cape Point

The roughly week-long period of rough surf from Hurricane Irma has brought more than just great waves to the popular Shelly Island sandbar – it’s also brought some dramatic changes to the long formation off of Cape Point.

Most noticeably, it appears that the sandbar is finally connecting to the rest of Cape Point at low tide – at least for now. 
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Salvo Day Use Cemetery Receives Temporary Sandbag

The Salvo Day Use Cemetery received a much-needed boost over the weekend thanks to a new barrier of sandbags to protect the fragile gravesites.

The cemetery, which is located on National Park Service land within the popular Salvo Day Use Area just south of the tri-villages, has been battered by storms and erosion, and has rapidly deteriorated to the dismay of the descendants of the islanders who are buried there.
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Body of Unidentified Male Found Near Buxton

At 7:05 am this morning, Wednesday, September 13, 2017, the body of an unidentified male was discovered by Cape Hatteras National Seashore staff near Buxton.

The body was found roughly a mile and a half north of the jetties in Buxton where a teenage male swimmer was last seen on the evening of Saturday, September 9. An autopsy will be performed tomorrow in order to determine identity.


Search Underway for Missing Swimmer Off Cape Hatteras National Seashore in Buxton


At 6:24 pm on Saturday, September 9, a teenage male swimmer from out-of-state was reported missing off a Cape Hatteras National Seashore beach. The swimmer was last seen north of the jetties in Buxton, North Carolina.  Read more


Hatteras Inlet, Rodanthe Projects Discussed in Detail at Waterways Commission Meeting

A number of imminent and proposed dredging projects were tackled at the Dare County Waterways Commission meeting, which was held at the Fessenden Center in Buxton on Monday, September 11.

An archaeological survey that would allow the Corps of Engineer to dredge the southern channel in Hatteras Inlet has been completed by Dare County. As a result, the Corps will be able to start dredging with the sidecaster dredge, the Merritt, starting on Wednesday, assuming the weather cooperates. 
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September Dredging and Potential Survey Discussed at Waterways Commission Meeting

Dredging is set to begin next month in Hatteras Inlet at a stubbornly clogged channel that has been impassable on its west end for months.

At Monday’s meeting of the Dare County Waterways Commission in Manteo, Dare County Manager Bobby Outten said that there would be a 10-day window for the sidecaster dredge Merritt to clear sand from the Connecting Channel west of the Inlet Gorge. 
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Fallen Heroes of 9/11 Honored with Annual Lighthouse Climb

Despite high winds that gusted to roughly 20 mph, dozens of local and visiting firefighters braved the annual trek to the top of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse to honor the first responders of 9/11.

The climb, which is now in its fifth year, is a tribute to the 2997 people who died that day in New York, Washington, D.C., and near Shanksville, Pa.  More than 400 first responders died at the Twin Towers, including 343 firefighters, 23 members of the New York City police force, and 37 from the Port Authority Police. 
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Pea Island Bridge May be Completed in October

Construction is steadily moving along on two of the three new bridges for Hatteras Island, and plans are in the works to have the new temporary bridge at the Pea Island Inlet completed by mid-October.

“The contractor [for the temporary inlet bridge] made some remarkable progress since this past winter, and we are hoping to begin the paving to tie the new bridge into the existing part of Highway 12 soon,” said Pablo A. Hernandez, the resident engineer for the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) and the project manager for both ongoing bridge projects. “We’re targeting a mid-October timeframe for that bridge to be complete.” 
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Island Free Press Celebrates 10-Year Anniversary with a Look Back at a Decade of News

On Tuesday, September 5, the Island Free Press officially marked its 10-year anniversary as the “up to date and down to earth” news source for Hatteras and Ocracoke islands.

Started by founders Irene Nolan and Donna Barnett in 2007, the online paper originated as an effort to post essential news stories as soon as they occurred. Before the formation of the Island Free Press, Irene was the editor of the now defunct Island Breeze – a monthly publication that was considered a valuable paper for residents and visitors alike, but which couldn’t have the up-to-the-minute updates that an online format could provide.
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Drones are a New Tool in Disaster Response Efforts

With the peak of hurricane season upon us, the North Carolina Department of Transportation’s Division of Aviation is teaming up with the Highway Division 1 Office to bring a new tool to natural disaster response efforts along the Outer Banks: Drones.   
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Cook says he won’t seek re-election in 2018

Amid considerable speculation about his future, four-term state lawmaker Sen. Bill Cook, the District 1 Republican who represents Dare County, announced on Tuesday Aug. 29 that he will not seek re-election in 2018.


In a statement released by Cook’s office, he said, “I am very proud that with the help of my fellow legislators, we now have the lowest taxes in the Southeast, regulation is under control and teacher pay is greatly improved. I am proud of my work in promoting our oyster industry, keeping our inlets open and defending our fishermen. I am most proud of starting a new industry in North Carolina – deep water fish farming – an industry that will greatly benefit our economy.” 
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Shrimp Cook-Off Brings Two Named Chefs to Hatteras Island For Day At The Docks Throwdown Challenge

Shrimp and Grits is the recipe for this year’s Seafood Throwdown, one of the headlining events at the 2017 Day at the Docks, a celebration of Hatteras Island watermen. New for 2017, the mystery seafood is named in advance – fresh, local, just landed, NC shrimp and North Carolina chefs, food writers and food gurus will be on hand to judge the plates of the shrimp dishes prepared by two visiting celebrity chefs. 
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Islanders Pause and Look Up for Monday’s Solar Eclipse....WITH SLIDE SHOW

Residents and visitors alike took a break from their day to step outside and look up at the sky for Monday’s solar eclipse.

Though Hatteras and Ocracoke Islands were outside of the “path of totality” – a 70 mile wide path that extended from Oregon to Charleston, SC – the southern Outer Banks nevertheless experienced roughly 90% coverage, which made the region a prime viewing destination for catching the show. 
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North Carolina submits formal comments in opposition to offshore drilling

Gov. Roy Cooper and the Department of Environmental Quality submitted formal comments yesterday to the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management to convey North Carolina’s opposition to oil and gas leasing for offshore drilling on North Carolina’s coast. 
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“What now?” - Power Outage Questions and Answers Covered at Dare County Meeting

A modest crowd of roughly 40 locals and business owners attended an informal meeting hosted by Dare County to address compensation options after the power outage.

The week-long power outage, which led to an evacuation of visitors, caused financial hardship for many local business owners and workers who rely on the summertime income. “I went from making $3,000 per day to $100 per day,” said one restaurant owner at the meeting. 
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Swimming-Related Fatality Occurs Off Ocracoke Island Beach

A swimming-related fatality occurred off Cape Hatteras National Seashore, near Ocracoke Island’s Pony Pen beach access, at around 5:10 pm on Monday, August 14.  
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Hyde County asks island to join together in PCL restitution claim

PCL Construction, the company building the new Bonner bridge is willing to come to the table and talk about a restitution settlement for Ocracoke Island’s losses during the week-long power crisis that closed the island. 
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New Building Permit Fees Effective September 1

Beginning September 1, 2017, new building permit fees will be implemented for construction projects in unincorporated Dare County, including mainland Dare County, areas on Roanoke Island including Wanchese, Colington, Martin’s Point, and all of Hatteras Island. 
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