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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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Focusing on hurricane recovery and an important election

Friday 28 October 2016 at 6:07 pm

The recovery from Hurricane Matthew is a work in progress on southern Hatteras and Ocracoke with important new information coming out every day.

And, at the same time, island residents must focus on a very important election on Tuesday, Nov. 8, that includes voting for the President and Vice-President of the United States, governor of our state, local representatives to the state's General Assembly, and seats on the Board of Commissioners in Hyde and Dare counties.

No question but that it's a challenge to focus on all of this, especially for the islanders who were most affected by Matthew's devastating storm surge that destroyed homes and businesses on both islands.

However, recovery and the election are both on our plate for the next week or so, and it is essential that both get our attention.

MATTHEW RECOVERY

There's so much information out there both for victims of Matthew and for those who want to help them that it's hard to keep track of it all.

That's why we hope you will frequently check our Hurricane Matthew Recovery Information Live Blog.

We started the blog on Saturday, Oct. 8, the day before Matthew hit southern Hatteras and Ocracoke with a record storm surge in several villages. The idea was to get information about the storm and its effects out to our readers as quickly as possible.

We managed to do that and the blog was frequently checked out by our readers on Saturday and Sunday Oct. 8 and 9 and beyond.

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Musing about Matthew, Part II

Friday 21 October 2016 at 5:05 pm

Much has happened on Hatteras Island since I last wrote about Hurricane Matthew's destructive visit to Hatteras on Oct. 9.

Again, let me say, what a difference a week makes!

In the past week, the piles of debris from so many homes flooded by the storm surge have piled up like tiny mountains along Highway 12 and the narrow side streets of Frisco and Hatteras villages. Even having to look at the debris from so many interrupted lives is heartbreaking.

We've had little rain since the hurricane, and I've noticed that the salt-burned vegetation, especially on southern Hatteras, is beginning to turn brown. The sea oats along the dunes, so heavy with their golden seed heads before the storm, are now stripped almost bare from the winds.

What has also happened in the past week, is that villagers have mobilized once again to help each other and more help for the island has come from everywhere.

Hatteras may not look as lovely as usual, but you can be assured that the islanders have not lost their spirit.

You can see and read about it every day on the Hatteras village Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/HatterasVillage/.

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Musing about Matthew

Friday 14 October 2016 at 5:57 pm

What a difference a week makes.

A week ago, on Friday, Oct. 7, we were getting ready for the quirky, dangerous, and difficult-to-forecast Hurricane Matthew. We had already suffered through a week of forecast tracks that changed daily, if not twice a day.

However, by Friday, most folks on Hatteras Island, at least, had decided to take this storm seriously. Part of the reason was that many of us were surprised by the damage that tropical storm Hermine managed to do on Sept. 3. The other part of the reason was that forecasts coming out of the local National Weather Service office at Newport/Morehead City were getting our attention on the subject of storm surge.

Friday into Saturday morning, we were moving vehicles, picking up yards, putting away outdoor plants, moving belongings up higher underneath the houses, getting out the lanterns and flashlights or checking the generator and getting extra gas.

Saturday afternoon and evening we waited and worried, and at 4:30 a.m. we got the big windshift to the north, the north wind blew a steady 45 to 50 with gusts over 70, and the Pamlico Sound began surging over southern Hatteras and Ocracoke islands.

We feared it would be bad, and for many it really was.

On Hatteras Island, Frisco and Hatteras village bore the brunt of the flooding, especially Hatteras village. According to the county's damage estimates, 122 houses in Hatteras village and 54 in Frisco had major damage -- most of it flooding in the living area. Ocracoke also had what will probably be a record storm surge.

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