Help Line

Featured Articles

Island Living: Getting by with a little help from our friends

Island Free Press columnist Joy Crist found herself embarrassed or even ashamed dealing with an insurance adjuster.  Why?

“Really, if you think about it, Hatteras and Ocracoke islanders are very strong-willed people,” she writes. “And admitting that we’re struggling and might need a hand from someone, whether it’s the government, our neighbors, or fantastically kind strangers, is even harder.  
Read more

The Mess at Mirlo:  Future is uncertain for Rodanthe beach houses

The road that runs through Mirlo Beach has been fixed and the dunes rebuilt but homeowners face serious questions on how to repair their houses on the east and west sides of Highway 12. Hurricane Irene delivered a crushing blow to Mirlo Beach, which is located in north Rodanthe, by destroying a large section of Highway 12 and by undermining houses on both sides of the road.  
Read more

UPDATE: Really Free Market organizers have set closing date for daily markets

The organizers of the very successful Really Really Free Markets on Hatteras Island, which have come to the aid of all islanders who have been victims of Hurricane Irene, have set some closing dates.  
Read more

UPDATE: Really Really Free Market open in Avon on Saturdays

Because of transportation issues for folks on the southern end of Hatteras Island, organizers of the Really, Really Free Market have decided to open up a second location at the Avon Volunteer Fire Department. This second market will be open on Saturdays from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. from Oct. 8 until further notice.

The Salvo market will continue every day at the St. Waves Plaza location from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. until further notice.  

With two marke
ts open, more volunteers are needed. Please call Jenn Augustson at 216-6558 to sign-up or for other questions.

Really, Really Free Market is aiding all islanders in need

The same folks who brought you the Really, Really Free Market one weekend a month in Avon are now bringing you the Really, Really Free Market every day in Waves – along with a new group of volunteers..

The organizers and volunteers in this group are taking a lead in helping all residents of Hatteras Island who have been hurt by Hurricane Irene. 
Read more

Roadside trailers on Hatteras must be moved

At its meeting on Monday, Oct. 17, the Dare County Board of Commissioners had a sometimes heated discussion about what should be done to address the increasing numbers of destroyed trailers being left on the roadside on Hatteras Island.

The discussion began with a question from Commissioner Allen Burrus about funding assistance with clearing debris from roadside ditches. He also asked, "How are we going to handle the trailers we see on the roads?"

Read the story in The Outer Banks Sentinel.

UPDATE: FEMA facts for flood insurance

The National Flood Insurance Program has extended the deadline to file flood claims resulting from Hurricane Irene until Nov. 24.

That is good news for policy-holders who say that they are receiving conflicting information about what their insurance does and does not cover and from those who have yet to have their damages adjusted or receive a proof of loss document.

Read the story in The Outer Banks Sentinel.

Hurricane Irene flood insurance hotline opens

North Carolina survivors of Hurricane Irene with questions about flood insurance claims can now find help by calling a new toll-free hotline. The Hurricane Irene Flood Insurance Claims Hotline is open to help North Carolina residents in the 38 counties included in the presidential disaster declaration following Hurricane Irene.  
Read more

Insurance problems hampering hurricane recovery

During a fact-finding tour of the eastern part of the state devastated by Hurricane Irene, North Carolina Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin told the Sentinel on Thursday, Oct. 6, that he is going to ask for a Congressional investigation to address problems related to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

"I have an obligation to be North Carolina residents' voice of frustration and to find solutions," said Goodwin. "Now we are finding out about folks still waiting for help -- they are begging for help and calling for the State Department of Insurance for such an inquiry."

Read the story in the Outer Banks Sentinel.

Damaged Chicamacomico Life-Saving Station working to reopen soon

In Rodanthe sits the oldest and most complete life-saving station on the East Coast, the Chicamacomico Life-Saving Station Historic Site. Still standing following the tremendous soundside flooding caused by Hurricane Irene on Aug. 27, this historic gem suffered from the high waters that knocked the 1897 boathouse off its foundation and infiltrated all eight buildings in the complex.  
 Read more

Post-hurricane business picking up on Ocracoke

Business on Ocracoke is returning to about what people expect at this time of the year.
Many business owners report that they have seen more customers since Highway 12 reopened on Hatteras Island on Oct. 11, though not in the numbers they had before Hurricane Irene came through seven weeks ago.  
Read more

Disaster assistance deadline now extended until Nov. 30

Hurricane Irene wreaked havoc when it hit North Carolina two months ago and disaster survivors now have more time to get help. The new deadline to register for state and federal disaster assistance is Nov. 30.  
Read more

Hurricane Irene Help Update: Assistance is still available

Help for Hurricane Irene victims is still available from state and government agencies. Assistance is being offered to folks who are not satisfied with the service from insurers and adjusters. You can apply for federal disaster assistance until Oct. 31 and or disaster unemployment insurance by Nov. 1.
Read more

NCDOT begins developing long-term solutions for Highway 12

The North Carolina Department of Transportation has started the process of developing permanent solutions for the sections of Highway 12 south of the Bonner Bridge severely damaged by Hurricane Irene on Aug. 27.

Department staff met on Tuesday, Oct. 18, with representatives from a dozen state and federal agencies to discuss possible options for permanently fixing the largest breach area on Pea Island and the breach at Rodanthe.  
Read more

Hatteras Coast Guardsmen spent countless hours aiding hurricane victims

United States Coast Guard Station Hatteras Inlet demonstrated incredible commitment to the communities of Hatteras Island following the devastation left behind by Hurricane Irene on August 27, 2011. 

Thirty-two men and women volunteered tirelessly to help the villages of Avon, Rodanthe, Waves, and Salvo clean up from this destructive storm that destroyed countless homes and businesses, leaving many locals homeless and without work.
  Read more

Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge is ‘open for business’

With the reopening of Highway 12 on Hatteras Island Monday evening, Oct. 10, comes the re-opening of Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge.  Just in time for fall migration and Wings Over Water, the refuge welcomes visitors to come and enjoy the outdoors and all its wildlife and habitats. 
Read more


The scene was happy and triumphant this evening when Highway 12 reopened between Rodanthe and Oregon Inlet for the first time since Hurricane Irene severed this section of road on Aug. 27.
In 44 days, the North Carolina Department of Transportation and several subcontractors repaired two major sections of highway north of Rodanthe.  The section at Mirlo Beach had a small inlet which was filled.  Five miles north was a much larger inlet and multiple breaches which required a temporary bridge to span much of the area.
Read more

When Highway 12 reopens, travelers can expect delays for a few weeks

When Highway 12 reopens – six weeks after being shut down by damage from Hurricane Irene – it’s a good bet that there will be a steady stream of vehicles in both directions for days after travelers get the go-ahead.

Jerry Jennings, DOT Division Engineer, repeated today that the opening day will be Oct. 11 or before but that travelers can still expect delays for two to three weeks while the final work is completed. 
Read more

Island Living: Attack of the Kinnaskeeters

The heavy rain from Hurricane Irene last month and the additional rainfall from heavy storms off and on for the past two weeks has hatched a healthy mosquito population on Hatteras and Ocracoke islands.  You can’t go anywhere on the islands these days without having a conversation about the biting insects.
Read more

Those left homeless on Hatteras are living a nomadic lifestyle

It was the day before the evacuation for Hurricane Irene was ordered, and Marilyn Midgett got the carpets cleaned in her Rodanthe home.  One week later, her carpets were stripped out of her house and piled next to the highway as trash, ruined by soundside flooding. Today, the one-story brick exterior of her house looks okay but the inside has been totally gutted from floor to ceiling.  Old family pictures lie on the floor of the enclosed carport.  Random pieces of furniture sit on the bare sub-flooring. 

For some, these circumstances would be emotionally insurmountable, but Marilyn Midgett and other residents in Rodanthe, Waves, and Salvo, hard hit by Hurricane Irene, are persevering.
Read more

Local vet helps the pets of Hatteras Island after Hurricane Irene

The cats and dogs of Hatteras Island also have had difficulties getting to an off-island medical facility after Hurricane Irene severed Highway 12 in four places on Aug. 27. However, veterinarian Christinia Ballance Hicks of Coastal Animal Clinic in Kitty Hawk is taking care of animals from her mobile van, parked in Hatteras village but on the move when it needs to be.  
Read more

How I Spent my Summer Evacuation

Island Free Press writer Joy Crist of Avon describes her evacuation adventures – or more correctly her re-entry adventures.  She says that on Tuesday night, Sept. 6, at the ferry docks in Stumpy Point there were dozens and dozens waiting and waiting for ferries that did not run.

“It’s hard to describe the scene, but it resembled a rock concert parking lot with children, pets and babies,” she writes in this article.
Read more