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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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diver531 (A Primer on the B…): Poof ….just had to be the spoiler eh Tide…LOL Reality sucks , barrier islands move but people just…
Realityville (Is a return to “P…): PC, Apparently, you’ve missed the memo(s) out of your hands-on government, leaving you ill-informed …
Liz (Is a return to “P…): Let’s keep the ban on plastic bags, extend it to all of Dare County for fairness, and deal with the b…
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Good guys and bad guys

Tuesday 27 September 2011 at 7:32 pm

Re-entry after a hurricane is always a messy business. 

It’s hard to please all of the folks who have a stake in when they can return – residents, non-resident property owners, and visitors.

And never have I seen a re-entry situation messier than the one we are still dealing with a month after Hurricane Irene.

Few people are happy with the way the re-entry has been handled.

Residents who evacuated and non-resident property owners say they were not allowed back quickly enough, and many, especially vacation rental managers, think visitors are coming back too soon.

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UPDATE: An Island Free Press Reader Survey: Hurricane Irene Response

Monday 19 September 2011 at 4:22 pm

In my blog last Tuesday, I asked our readers to let their voices be heard on Hurricane Irene from the preparation to the response by local and state agencies and other organizations.

And did you ever give us a shout out!

In fewer than three days online, at early afternoon Friday, we passed the 1,000-mark in responses.

This morning, just six days since posting, we had 1,312 responses.

Some of our readers have asked for an update on the responses, so here it is.

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An Island Free Press Reader Survey: Hurricane Irene Response

Monday 12 September 2011 at 4:44 pm

If the hundreds of e-mails that we received before and after Hurricane Irene’s arrival on Hatteras and Ocracoke on Aug. 27 are any indication, all of our readers have an opinion on the preparation for and response to the storm.

That includes residents who stayed, residents who evacuated, non-resident property owners, and visitors to the islands.

Now, we are giving you an opportunity to tell us what you think about your experiences during and after the storm and how well local, state, and federal agencies and other organizations helped  you prepare or recover.

Today, we are introducing An Island Free Press Reader Survey:  Hurricane Irene Response.

Island Free Press has developed this survey for its readers as a means to capture ideas and opinions directly from our island's stakeholders -- residents, non-resident property owners, and visitors.

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A message to our off-island property owners and visitors

Tuesday 06 September 2011 at 5:20 pm

Here at Island Free Press, we have been overwhelmed with e-mails and comments from readers who want to know when they can get back to Hatteras to check their property and when they can get on Hatteras and Ocracoke for their planned vacations.

Dare County Emergency Management lines are also ringing off the hook, and folks are calling and e-mailing county officials.  Real estate management companies have also been overwhelmed with questions.

The very simple answer right now is that we don’t know the answer to the question.

Ocracoke residents who evacuated returned early last week after the Aug. 27 hurricane. Non-resident property owners were allowed back on Ocracoke last Saturday.

Hyde County has made no announcement about visitors yet, but you can be sure the county officials are discussing the issue right now and conferring with Ocracoke businesses about when they are ready and staffed.

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Re-entry woes

Friday 02 September 2011 at 10:18 pm

They told us that Hurricane Irene would be the storm of a lifetime.  And they were right – at least in the sense that it seemed to last a lifetime.

Just last Friday, I was posting a blog on “Why we stay in the face of a major hurricane.”  Many of us did stay and the storm, which started with the outer bands of wind and rain on Friday afternoon, never ended until after midnight on Sunday morning.

Those two days of punishing hurricane force winds, heavy rain, and a storm surge from the Pamlico Sound seem now much longer than just six days ago.

Those of us who stayed have had to cope this week for days without power in the sweltering heat, no cell phones, no land lines for some, no cable, and no Internet.

Those who stayed in Rodanthe, Waves, and Salvo and some in Avon have been overwhelmed by the epic and crippling soundside storm surge that has brought destruction and damage to homes and belongings, vehicles, and the infrastructure.

And a major inlet and several smaller ones have been cut in northern Rodanthe and on Pea Island, cutting off Hatteras, which is now accessible only by ferry.

First, all were focused on repairing our damaged island.

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