Hi, and welcome to my "Editor's Blog"! In this space I'll be attempting to keep our readers informed on fast-breaking news and issues affecting our islands. Visit often. There's a lot going on!

Enjoy the Island Free Press and, even more importantly, enjoy our wonderful barrier island!!!




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pussycat (The Things Left B…): Devildog and Salvo Jimmy Did you know that less 2 percent of visitorship to CHNS—ORV permit holders a…
M.R. Jarrell (Goodbye, Frisco P…): Sad to see the old pier go. I have fond memories of fishing there with my son, when the pier was stil…
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Goodbye, Frisco Pier

Friday 20 October 2017 at 9:06 pm


Even in its wretched, storm-battered state, the teetering Frisco Pier is still an Outer Banks celebrity, with photographs of it all over the Internet, and Facebook pages dedicated to it.

But by the end of the year, the remains of the iconic 55-year-old yellow pier house and rickety pier will be gone – or at least, close to it.

Contractors are expected to start removing the wooden structure and its hundreds of pilings by the end of November or early December, said Dave Hallac, superintendent of the Cape Hatteras National Park Service.

Contractor Charlotte-based DOT Construction – it’s pronounced like polka dot and has nothing to do with NCDOT - is currently building a new ADA boardwalk to the beach at Ramp 55 across from the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum. When that is completed, Hallac said, the contractor will move its operation up to Frisco.

When a survey was conducted last year, he said, a total of 263 pilings were counted, most of them submerged. Of them, only 124 are above water. Divers were needed to find all the broken-off and buried pilings, and divers will also be needed to remove them.

Depending on the weather, the superintendent said, the $496,000 project is expected to be completed in about a month or two.

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Looking Back A Year After Hurricane Matthew

Friday 06 October 2017 at 9:50 pm


We’re still recovering from Hurricane Matthew.”

This sentiment has been echoed quite a bit in the last year.

It’s a phrase that was heard all across the island after the summer power outage, after the menacing approach of Jose and Maria, and after just about every island-wide setback we’ve encountered since last October.

And it’s 100% accurate. Matthew may have eventually arrived in our area on October 9, 2016, as a post tropical cyclone, but the former Category 5 storm left a lot of local damage in its wake.

Record breaking storm surge levels were recorded in Hatteras village with 5.8 feet of water in some areas. A number of lifelong locals reported that the last time they saw water levels remotely close to Matthew was in 1944. And officials estimated that the storm caused $52 million in damages to Dare County alone.

At least 60-70 homes were flooded in Hatteras Village and had to be renovated or demolished. And with local contractors in high demand - and a long wait to acquire funds from insurance companies, grants, loans, personal savings, and any source that was available – rebuilding was a slow process.

So it’s no wonder that nearly a year after Matthew paid Hatteras Island a brief visit that locals and visitors are still getting back on their feet. Take a drive through Hatteras village, and you’ll still see Matthew-related repairs in progress as homes continue to be raised, renovated, or torn down completely.

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How Does the Highly Active 2017 Hurricane Season Compare?

Friday 22 September 2017 at 5:47 pm


As Jose departs our offshore waters, and Maria figures out whether she will take his place, it’s easy to see why so many folks are already calling 2017 one of the busiest hurricane seasons on record.

We’re already up to “M” after all, (does anyone even remember Katia and Lee? Or Bret? Or Cindy? Or Don?) And it feels like we’ve all been checking the National Hurricane Center website obsessively since mid-July.

But how does 2017 statistically compare to previous active years?

Earlier in the summer, NOAA released its hurricane forecast for the year and warned that 2017 was going to be an “above average” season. They predicted that there would be 14-19 named storms, (which included April's Tropical Storm Arlene.) Five to nine of these were forecast to become hurricanes, and two to five of these would become major hurricanes. This original forecast was well above the Atlantic Basin's 30-year historicalaverage (1981-2010) of 12 named storms, six hurricanes, and three major hurricanes.

And NOAA’s initial forecast appears to be spot on, if not a little lenient.

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