Why we stay in the face of a major hurricane - Shooting The Breeze


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The plovers and the p… | Home | Re-entry woes

Why we stay in the face of a major hurricane

Friday 26 August 2011 at 6:22 pm.

As I am writing this on Friday evening, the outer bands of rain from Hurricane Irene are coming onshore on Hatteras Island.  There isn’t much wind to speak of yet, but that will probably change quickly before too long.

Forecasters are saying that the storm should pass close to Cape Hatteras tomorrow morning, but the good news is that the storm is not strengthening.

Winds are down to 100 mph now and pressure is rising.  However, no one here is breathing a sigh of relief.

We know it is a big and dangerous storm and that we will take a beating.

It’s not going to be pretty.  We are likely to take a beating by huge waves and storm surge on the ocean.  Some are expecting one or more new inlets to be cut on the island.  It’s looking pretty unlikely that Highway 12 will not be damaged or washed out in places.

The storm surge on the Pamlico Sound is also expected to be huge, perhaps equal to or exceeding the surge from Hurricane Emily in 1993.  And that was the highest soundside flooding that anyone alive then on the island had ever seen.

The official surge above water level was 10 feet, according to the National Weather Service.  That translated to about 5 feet under my house, which is raised up on 8-foot pilings.

We have been urged by federal, state, and county officials to evacuate, but many of us have not.

“Those who do not evacuate should expect consequences,” the Dare County Control Group said in a statement this evening.  “Be prepared to sustain your household for at least 72 hours.  There could also be extreme hazards and a major disruption of all services for a prolonged period of time.  During the high winds expected during this storm, emergency personnel will not be able to respond to calls for help.”

This hurricane has gotten our attention, probably more than any other in the 20 years I have lived here. 

We are taking it seriously, and many islanders were absolutely torn about whether to stay or go. I was one of them.  My stomach was upset for two days until I finally made the decision to stay this morning.

Some folks left, mostly those with children or medical problems.  But many more did not.

Some see this decision as irresponsible.  Last year, Jim Cantore of the Weather Channel was on Hatteras, being buffeted by wind and sound tide during Hurricane Earl, as he chided the locals for staying in the face of danger and risking the lives of others who might have to rescue them.

Believe me when I say that we all know that if we stay, we are on our own.  No one will be coming to our rescue – at least until the storm passes by.

We stay not because we are macho or crazy, showing off with bravado, or have a cavalier attitude that we will never leave in a hurricane.  All of us with any sense admit that we might leave someday, in some storm.

This one just isn’t it.

Hatteras and Ocracoke natives are used to riding out storms, on their own, with no help. It is what they have done for generations.  One old-timer told a friend of mine that it is “just in his genes.”

Most of those who have made Hatteras their home are also hardened to storms and well-schooled in what to do to stay safe – most of which they learned from the native islanders.

We stay because it is home.

It is all that most of us have.  It’s everything we own.  It’s our houses, property, and our businesses. We want to be here to look after our interests and our future.

I have friends in the charter boat business who stay to look after the boats.  I have friends who own seafood shops who stay to look after their shops and friends who own galleries and gift shops and book stores who stay for the same reason. I stay partially because my business is publishing the community news on Hatteras and Ocracoke, and it’s harder to do that if you are not here.

Furthermore, as we have learned, if you evacuate, there is no guarantee that you can return to your home, your business, and your life in a timely manner.

We found that out in Hurricane Dennis in 1999, which washed out Highway 12 between Avon and Buxton, and in Hurricane Isabel in 2003, which cut an inlet between Frisco and Hatteras, isolating the lower end of the island.

We don’t want to stay away that long.  We want to be here to look after our property and our businesses and to make repairs as quickly as possible.

Of course, “all that we have” means only possessions and things, which are, of course, replaceable and which is why islanders so carefully consider whether to stay or go.  No one makes that decision casually.

We are worried about the storm, no doubt about it.  We know that we may suffer consequences.

Most of us who do stay know how bad it can get, and we’ve seen Emilys and Isabels. Most of us know how to prepare our homes, our vehicles, ourselves and what we should or shouldn’t do before, during, and after the storm. We know how much we can take.

We also know what we are facing after the storm.  No power.  No air conditioning in sticky, humid summer weather. Not even any fans. Perhaps no phones or cell phones. A smelly, stinking mess in the yard, where the storm surge has come through depositing eel grass and your neighbor’s possessions that weren’t secured.  Maybe snakes.

We are not bragging because we stay or asking for sympathy.  It is just the way our lives and our communities are organized.

The thought of closing up your house and business and driving away, not knowing if one or the other will be there in another day or two is very frightening.

Right now, things are looking up for us – at least they are looking less threatening than the past few days or even this morning.

We’ll know this time tomorrow night.

The Island Free Press will continue to provide updates on Hurricane Irene as long as conditions allow.

I am here.  Don Bowers, Island Free Press photographer is here, as is his wife, Anne, who reports for the paper.

Our graphic designer and webmaster Donna Barnett, has evacuated with her husband and 11-year-old daughter, but she has just opened the Raleigh bureau of IFP.

So, we will be posting news, and if you don’t hear from us for a while, it’s probably because power and phones are down.

However, I can tell you that when this is over, we will have the very best news on the impact of Hurricane Irene on our islands.

Hope you will stay with us.

And, yes, I am nervous.


Cindy Burgess

Yes you are brave Irene. And yes I can certainly understand your position on staying. God speed and stay safe. I love your free paper….always so interesting! Was in Frisco for a week 2 weeks ago and the weather was perfect. I LOVE Frisco and Buxton…..most beloved place on the planet. Have been coming down to OBX since ’93. Stay safe and I wish you all the best in your stay at home. Thoughts and prayers that damage in minimal from that mean ole’ lady Irene and no injuries. God Bless!

Cindy Burgess (Email ) - 26-08-’11 18:37
C M Westmont

Thank you for the great article, we are keeping all of you in our thoughts. Hatteras is a unique place & so too are the people who live there. We recently purchased a property there, knowing full well the risks. Best of luck to all of you & to our beloved Hatteras.

C M Westmont - 26-08-’11 18:42
Dee Ann Cook

As I sit here safely on the east side of WA state, I read your blog. I stumbled upon it looking for the “real” coverage on Irene as CNN and MSN only report for the masses.

I will eagerly follow your blog as the storm unfolds and will say a quiet prayer that when the wind dies down and the sun shines again, it finds you and your fellow hardy residents safe.

Dee Ann Cook
Deer Park, WA

Dee Ann Cook - 26-08-’11 18:47
dam Yankee

You said it all so well, the things I’m thinking while I’m listening to my family ask me if I think I’m doing the right thing by staying. Getting back is the biggest thing. We’re going to have a big mess, and it really helps to get started right away.

dam Yankee - 26-08-’11 18:52
Duane McConeghy

God Speed Hatteras men and women. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. Stay safe and thank you for including us Hatteras lovers in your life.

Duane McConeghy (Email ) - 26-08-’11 19:00

I am with your son in Las Vegas, and he is worried about you, but admires your spirit. By extension, so do I. We debated the length of your postings, but I appreciate the old-school integrity of the journalistic story, and so to, ultimately, does he.

Stay safe.

MDF (Email ) - 26-08-’11 19:57

Harry Truman, the innkeeper, not the president would be proud of you all. God willing we’ll see you come the winter. Take care.

Steve - 26-08-’11 20:06

I’m sorry but with all due respect staying is an incredibly careless and stupid thing to do. You stay because your home is there… You want to be with your stuff… Guess what? When the surge comes in it isn’t going to ask permission to take your home and your stuff. You being there is not going to stop 100 mph winds from ripping your roof off.

I honestly pray you’ll all be safe but think you should learn to appreciate the awesomeness that is mother nature. I hope it doesn’t take the destruction of an Andrew, Ivan, or Katrina for you to see this.

My prayers are with you all.

Alex (Email ) - 26-08-’11 20:33
Sarah Downing

I’ve tried to explain why we stay, but I could never do it as eloquently as you’ve done Miss Irene. Thank you!

Sarah Downing - 26-08-’11 20:44
the Kachurs

Good luck Irene. You and your fellow Islanders will be in our thoughts and prayers as we track your namesake through the night. We hope for the best, and know you will be prepared for the worst.
Kandace, Glen & Farley

the Kachurs (Email ) (URL) - 26-08-’11 21:03

Well… all the best weathering the storm. And I guess while you’re there, if the power or your phones stay up, how about tweeting through the night? Puuhleeeze? We’re starved out here for real first hand accounts. You can also take pics with your phone, if the network stays up, and send them to http://www.twitpic.com.. If the internet goes down but your phone stays up you can still send us tweets and twitpics. Of course, go for high ground if you need to!! Provided there is high ground… I haven’t been to where you are yet. You have a couple hundred followers at http://twitter.com/#!/IslandFreePress but if you tweet and mention that you’re going to do so on your press appearances you’ll have a couple thousand by the morning… if not ten thousand. All right… enough cajoling from me…

Patrick - 26-08-’11 21:27

I’ll admit, if I was an islander and it’s less than Cat. 3, I’m probably staying. That being said, those of us that are in or were in the emergency services industry know what will happen. You say you know the consequences and are prepared to accept them. But when that surge comes up and that wave hits your house and that refrigerator falls over on you and the water is rising, you will naturally reach for that cell phone or radio and call for help. And regardless of what the governor says about there being no help available, some brave soul, with a spouse and children, will get in that chopper, boat, ambulance, whatever, and do their selfless duty and come out and rescue you. Now what if that chopper/ambulance/boat crashes in high winds/seas and that rescuer dies, and meanwhile your neighbor heard your cries for help and you get rescued.
Congratulations, you survived the storm.

Carl - 26-08-’11 21:30

Yeah… I get what you’re saying Carl… and I was in rescue and EMS for years and did dangerous helicopter rescues. So I know what you’re saying. All the same, I’m on the fence on this one. I also believe in individual rights, and understand why people choose to stay, as well. I’m just glad that we have the ability to stay if we want… I’d hate it if I had to relocate every time the politicians needed to cover their asses. I don’t think they’re doing that in this case: this is obviously a very dangerous storm and situation. Really, I’m mulling it over. The complicating irony is that half the reason I did rescue work was that the danger was exhilarating, and that wasn’t the only reason I did it… I also genuinely wanted to help people. It’s just a complicated thing for me, as you can see. I respect your point of view, no doubt.

Patrick (Email ) - 26-08-’11 21:41
Steve & Sabra Kovalscik

Safe to say that there are hundreds of thousands praying for God’s mercy on Hatteras and the entire Outer Banks and all the souls clinging to the hope that lies within His grace tonight. May His peace which passes all understanding rest with you through the night and carry you safely through to the clear skys that will follow. Without firm faith in the Mighty Creator who could have such courage to watch through this night? Glory and praise to Jesus our Healer, Protector, and Saviour!

Steve & Sabra Kovalscik (Email ) - 26-08-’11 21:46
Mike Berry

2500 years ago the Greek philosopher Plato noted that one of the ”perfections” humans seek is “home” and you have found your perfect home and life on the Outer Banks of North Carolina.

There is no group of citizens in this country other than the long time residents of the Outer Banks that understands better what it means to “live with the environment”, particularly the risks attached to a hurricane. If there is any community that can deal with a storm, it is yours. You don’t need the risk adverse outside world to tell you how to live.

No, you are not crazy, nor are you macho or irresponsible. I know many of you. You are some of the most responsible, self-reliant, family and community loving people I have ever met, anywhere in world. One thing you do better than most of us is to muster the courage to face the storms of life, and support each other as a healthy community should. That is central part of your life and a trait and value that has always attracted me to you and your community.

Only a fool would not have some degree of anxiety and fear about this storm. I truly admire the courage you show in not letting it drive you from your home and way of life. We look forward to reading your first-hand account of the storm; it will surely be a classic.

Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

Mike Berry (Email ) - 26-08-’11 21:50
Donna Ivanoff

My prayers are with you…. our family looks forward to our yearly visit to Rodanthe and the house we rent is right on the ocean by the Rodanthe Pier so we are praying for you and for the OBX…keep safe and thank you for sharing your island paradise with our family who will be praying here for your safety here in Scranton, Pennsylvania…..

Donna Ivanoff (Email ) - 26-08-’11 22:00

Be safe. Love the outer banks. Got my junior seashore ranger patch in 1969 when Ii was first introduced by my folks. Dollar bills to get gas. long long walk to salvo beach. Back several times and have introduced many families. Love Avon. prayers from the Tampa Bay area

Kelley (Email ) (URL) - 26-08-’11 22:46
Joe Ward

Bravo. If that doesn’t deliver on what the headline promises you will tell people, I don’t know what would. Suzanne and I are here watching your namesake on TV, taking turns each keeping the other from getting on the phone to tell you to get the hell out of there.

Joe Ward (Email ) - 27-08-’11 00:35
michael letso

My wife and I are praying for all of you to be safe and unhurt by the storm.Thanks for the blog and the articles.Great work.We are supposed to check-in to a little oceanside Buxton house at 6 on Sunday night for the week.I hope the authorities use wisdom in deciding when to let us vacationers back on Hatteras,not too soon or too late.Blessings.

michael letso (Email ) - 27-08-’11 01:01
Carol Mowers

Thoughts and prayers are with you all. Suppose to be cominng down for the Little Hatteras Tournament for a week. I certainly hope and pray we can get there. Thanks to all of you that stayed and are going to keep us updated on the real facts.

Carol Mowers (Email ) - 27-08-’11 03:03
Shredmistess Rynata

Irene.. just saw you on on the news. Commend you for your initiative. Hope all will be well with you and your family.. best wishes. Rynata

Shredmistess Rynata (Email ) (URL) - 27-08-’11 03:43

I heard you on Fox. Good luck, Irene! I love your website.

Christine - 27-08-’11 03:46
Paul Dawn

Hi Irene,

Greetings from Smyrna, Ga!

Just listened to your interview on Fox News, also heard it earlier in the day as you shared why you stayed. Thanks for sharing even more here on your blog.

I will become a regular reader now of the online paper and blog!

Just wanted to let know that you and those who stayed will be in my prayers!

aka The Mayor :-)

Paul Dawn (Email ) (URL) - 27-08-’11 03:51
galveston tx resident

I just heard you on fox news…i pray that you make it through the storm unscathed!
We lost our entire home in Hurricane Ike on Bolivar peninsula due to storm surge…16 ft…which was not anticipated having our house 15 feet above sea level. I hope you don’t have to go through the horror we did and will be able.to tell your story tomorrow!

galveston tx resident (Email ) - 27-08-’11 04:05

My prayers are with you. I have a house in Rodanthe so I always in joy island free press because I can keep informed with the news when I can’t be there. Stay safe. I live in NEPA where we are expecting tropical storm warning, not the same as what you are going through. I hope to read that everything is well when this is all over.

Evelyn (Email ) - 27-08-’11 06:22

I wish all of my friends In North Carolina and along the coast the best, and just know that my heart is with you. Be safe!

Leah - 27-08-’11 06:38
Beth Saylor

Irene – I well understand why you stay. For those with children, medical problems, etc., it’s best to leave. However, we love Hatteras – our home at least a couple times during the year, and we plan to head back in a couple weeks — maybe to help anyone needing any outside help. Please know that our prayers join the many others going to our Father for your protection and good health. Hopefully, we’ll be able to meet you in person when we come down in a couple weeks. Stay well and know that many in Staunton, VA are thinking of you!!

Beth Saylor - 27-08-’11 07:40
Jim Nolan

So, my dear ex-wife, your pastor ex-husband will be praying that God’s angels will shelter you through the next edition. Jim

Jim Nolan (Email ) - 27-08-’11 08:05
Eugenie Fein

It is 8:49am on Saturday, in Morganton, NC.
BRAVO, Irene, we are praying for everybody on Ocracoke and Hatteras as well as the whole coastline in the path of this storm. I love the outer banks, and lived in Elizabeth City for about 5 years, many years ago—-so I was always going to the beach. You all —-whether native for generations or native by transplants are a wonderful breed of folks—-the best in the world. Hang in there —-may God keep you safe—-and we hope clean-up and restoration goes quickly.

Eugenie Fein (Email ) - 27-08-’11 08:55
tom gasper

hello irene
my family and i have been coming to the outer banks for about 30 yrs,have seen the the effects of isabel,and floyd,and admire you for staying,wish i could witness mother nature as you have,our prayers will be with you during this storm,and any storm that comes after.we are from pittsburgh all we have to deal with is cold and snow,you people have to deal with it all. godspeed

tom gasper (Email ) - 27-08-’11 08:59

We have a house in Frisco and we are praying for all our neighbors and those who chose to stay, which is an individual decision. We do appreciate the updated news because the news and Weather Channel are primarily reporting on Nags Head and we really need to know about our belowed hi, so the latest posting was much appreciated. God will watch over you.

Sandy - 27-08-’11 11:27
Ann Thomas

I’ve been coming to the Outer Banks about 61 years – since 1950- and I’ve seen much of it come and go – people as well as places. Again, I will have you all in my prayers and know that all will be well as this storm passes. Hang in there !!

Ann Thomas (Email ) - 27-08-’11 11:36
M. Breeden

I totally understand your reasons for staying. It’s 11:33am Saturday here in Virginia Beach and I’m staying too. My prayers are with all on the Outer Banks and Ocracoke.

M. Breeden - 27-08-’11 11:36
lucy martin

irene, from 1 irene to another,, i totally understand and admire you for it. we love the outer banks and have ben coming for the past 12 years with our family and are planning many more god willing. you take care stay safe. all will be ok. god bless.

lucy martin (Email ) - 27-08-’11 13:39

We are very glad it looks like there will be less damage than expected and pray that no one will be injured. We also hope Irene destroyed all the darn birds and nests that keep messing with people driving on the great beaches on the Outer Banks.

MarkO (Email ) - 27-08-’11 14:11

Irene, I listened to you being interviewed on TV last night, and I have to tell you…You have my utmost respect for saying (multiple times) that you would not expect to be rescued since you decided to stay of your own accord. I’ve never heard anyone else say that in a situation like this (where they are interviewed because they chose to stay). I’m really glad it all worked out for you, and that you are providing a source of online contact for people.

Tina (Email ) (URL) - 27-08-’11 15:39

Many of us both agree with your reasoning and respect your position. I might also say that for the past 15 years that I have been here, what roars in as a CAT 5, biggest storm in history, etc. inevitably becomes yet another ho hum. I am north of you and don’t get the intensity of what you see, but still, TWC, etc gives us the hype and it has always proven to be far more dire than whatever has actually transpired. I think we start to get immune to it even though they always tell you “this is the big one!” One of these days it actually might be “the big one” and here i will sit, along with my little dog, thinking oh, darn!

CJD - 27-08-’11 16:14
Keith Runyon

Irene, I am so proud of you. Carol would be damned proud. Love to you, Keith

Keith Runyon (Email ) - 27-08-’11 19:32
betty anderson

Please stay safe .I love your Island have been coming down there since 1983 .We stay at Tower Circle Motel with Jack Gray he was my principal in middle school well be back in Oct.

betty anderson - 27-08-’11 21:04
Lisa Nicholson

Great Blog – Glad you are okay. We have lived in the Outer Banks a couple of years and we have evacuated because we have little ones. I have been trying to explain to others why people don’t evacuate, not I just need to refer them to you :)

Lisa Nicholson - 27-08-’11 21:21

Glad to hear everyone rode out the storm well and is okay.

We dodged a bullet when the storm took that big gulp of dry air off of the Florida coast.

Crotalus - 27-08-’11 21:58
Salvo Jimmy

Some water still came with the bullet

NC-12 in Waves at Real Watersports


Salvo Jimmy (Email ) - 28-08-’11 06:32
Rick Rodd

I am sorry..this woman is a fool…NO property and business is worth your life….nothing she says makes sense…that is what insurance is for…you are just dumb as stones…I hope you lose everything!!! And dont’ ask the Feds to help you rebuild if you are stupid enough to live there…I don’t want to pay for more beach renourishment…do it yourself if you are so independent.

Rick Rodd (Email ) - 28-08-’11 09:56
Salvo Jimmy

Apparently there is now an inlet at the S-Curve, supposedly confirmed by a twitter from NCDOT. Saw this on the Facebook page for Hatteras vs Irene with more on OBC.

Looks like Momma N may have reopened her old Loggerhead Inlet.

Posts I saw indicate ferry service Stumpy Pt to Rodanthe is being mobilized.

Salvo Jimmy (Email ) - 28-08-’11 11:24
Rebecca Baranowski

To Rick Rodd, you apparently don’t know the people and have experience the beauty of the outer banks. If I was fortunate enough to own a house there, I’d never leave. And as far as the govement spending money on the banks, perhaps you are unaware that it is a nationa seashore and park. Better to fight against the wasteful dollars you earn being spent to support generational welfare folks. Not these hard working people. God Bless all you who have stayed and fought to minimize the damage. We will see you soon!

Rebecca Baranowski (Email ) - 28-08-’11 12:48
Salvo Jimmy

Pics of the S-Curve breach here


Salvo Jimmy (Email ) - 28-08-’11 13:19

This was posted on Red Drum. It looks like an (another?) inlet was cut just north of the USF&WS buildings on Pea Island.


Crotalus - 28-08-’11 14:01
Salvo Jimmy

Chopper 10 view of Pea Island breach at maintenance area


Salvo Jimmy (Email ) - 28-08-’11 16:21
Salvo Jimmy

Something to ponder.

When the bridge was knocked down we left one vehicle North of the inlet at the fishing center and one South at the old CG station parking area. Did the walk on ferry ride because it was never a wait in line scenario.

I know there is similar parking availability at Rodanthe Community Center and across the road at Chicamacomico Station.

Anyone know what parking may be like at Stumpy Pt ?????

Salvo Jimmy (Email ) - 28-08-’11 19:19
Alex Quirk

Really enjoyed visiting the Outer Banks(Nags Head) and Hatteras/Buxton in 2001…Our ONLY full family vacation..I tried to climb the lighthouse but alas it closed right before we got there…June 12, 2001 my sisters birthday! I can understand why a close knit community stays and neighbors help each other even when emergency services can’t be had.. God Speed….From the North Central Mountains of PA — town of St Marys

Alex Quirk (Email ) - 28-08-’11 21:52
becky shafer


A voice from your past! Dave Cohn forwarded your piece to us, and it is truly wonderful. I think I understand all the emotions, consequences, etc. better than I have before. (Why don’t those folks leave? The warnings are dire!)

I’ve never been in quite the same situation, but I hope I could react as carefully and cautiously as you have!

Becky Shafer

becky shafer (Email ) - 28-08-’11 22:42
Jane Scarlett

Warm Regards from Michigan. We love and cherish the Outer Banks. We were in Frisco in June but are with you now in spirit.

Jane Scarlett and Family

Jane Scarlett - 29-08-’11 09:47
Rick Rodd

Rebecca Baranowski: I have been to OBX many times, and have had to leave a number of times for storms….so I know full well what I am talking about. And now that Hatteras is cut off, this is exactly what I mean. Now the state or Coast Guard has to either move these irresponsible people or bring them supplies. I hope to God they bill them.! I understand all about property rights etc. but common sense escapes these people.I see it when a hurrican hits Florida…they all say the same thing “I have been here through storms before”…How stupid is that? How can anyone think two storms are the same??? This is unbelievably dumb….and now they pay for it…I feel sorry for them, not because they are stuck, but because they look foolish before the world. Even German and French TV have covered these “stupid Americans” on their news programs. Nice image of an OBXer.

Rick Rodd - 29-08-’11 11:05
dam Yankee


For your information, nobody has to move us. We have water, generators, extra gas, supplies, food, and each other. We are content to live primitive until the road gets fixed, or until ferry service begins. Nobody has to rescue us. So, with all due respect, you can stick your tax bill right up where the sun doesn’t shine, and if this wasn’t a blog I love and respect I’d be cursing you to the moon right now.

dam Yankee - 29-08-’11 11:31
Stacy Devaney

Mr. Rick Rodd
You are totally clueless! Why do you bother to keep coming to HI if these people are ‘stupid americans’? Such hateful words coming from your mouth. Instead of being angry at the locals, turn that anger to all of the US politicians that spend YOUR money for all their perks and benefits! I know that goes off subject, but that is my opinion.

Now, for all you locals that stayed, bravo for you and your courage to do what most people won’t. I only wish I was there to help with the clean-up.

God Bless,
Stacy Devaney
Sterling, VA

Stacy Devaney (Email ) - 29-08-’11 12:07
Peggy Wellls

I’m an Eastern Shore of MD gal whose ancestors were here to meet the first boat that brought the English come-heres. The first storm i knew was Hazel in ’54. It’s genetic that we stay because there was no evacuating for earlier generations. God bless you all and we’ll see you in Oct when we come back to visit. We’ve been coming so long, we’ve been told we’re not tourists, we just rent our second home, not own it.

Peggy Wellls - 29-08-’11 12:16

Nice to see you folks on the island came though ok. I new you would, you always do. As for rickrod. Please don’t feed the trolls, and he is obviously a troll. He will never understand the locals mentality.

Wish I could still live there with yall

Puck - 29-08-’11 12:32

Please say Hi to my son Sean who is at Oden’s dock with his boat the Hungry Eyes. He sent word through facebook on Saturday until his phone died.

Nancy - 29-08-’11 14:56
Salvo Jimmy


This from the latest county bulletin re CHEC / power

“Due to bridge and road conditions, the transmission crew that was scheduled to come from the north, was unable to cross the bridge and access the breach points at Pea Island.”

Salvo Jimmy (Email ) - 29-08-’11 14:57
Wendy Alke

Between the sharks and the hurricanes – maybe it’s time to welcome back those people who enjoy finding a quiet place on the beach for natural sunbathing/swimming.

Wendy Alke (Email ) - 29-08-’11 15:24

I have a property in Waves and was going to come down this Saturday. Just saw an arial view of rt 12…. or what’s left of it. The highway dept has worked miracles in the past. Does anyone with better local knowledge than I think that they can make rt 12 passable by this weekend??

Al - 29-08-’11 16:07
Sandra Heagy

Stay safe … prayers are with you … we are hoping to visit in October … cannot wait … miss the island … am planning to move there in a couple of years … god willing

Sandra Heagy (Email ) - 29-08-’11 20:06

No way Al. You might be able to take the ferry by the weekend though.

Salty - 29-08-’11 20:39
Rick Rodd

Stacey Devaney…how in the world does my view of the fools of Hatteras have anything to do with politics? All I said was if you want to stay, then you should cover all the costs now being rung up by the folks in NC, Army Corps etc. Those who stayed are welcome to stay, but they should pay every dime of the cost it will take to get them off or bring them supplies. The road should be built, but not one dime of anyone’s money should be used to help you morons.

Dam Yankee: You are the one clueless…you put your life at risk. You don’t have TV I assume but if you did you would see the people in Vermont getting swept away from raging rivers…that could have been you had it not been the dry slot of air to broke the storm up. I don’t care about your “Deliverance Style” of living there…as long as it does not cost me one dime. If I were Emperor, I would not allow rebuilding in an area where a house was destroyed, but you NC/SCers got your pols there to vote that down along with your developer buddies etc. You want your cake and want to eat it too…get real. And sorry if I seem hateful and angry…far from it…I don’t actually care what you do there….just as long as it does not impact me and the rest of the “smart” folks. You are not seeing the news or reading the papers, you are all held up to be “fools”….which of course you are.

Rick Rodd - 29-08-’11 21:29
Stacy Devaney

Mr. Rodd
How in the world does your view have anything to do with HI locals? Last time I checked the income tax that is paid out of my paycheck is not up for vote on where it is to be spent. I’m just saying that there are worse things that the government spends their (actually our) money on that you would/should be appalled. I would much rather have my money spent on rebuilding HI than giving it to welfare recipients that abuse the system.

Now to defend Dam Yankee. Where in the world are you coming up with emperor? The US is not a dictatorship. That comment makes no sense to me at all. This is a free country and these people have the right to rebuild if they choose. As far as ‘NC/SCers got your pols there to vote that down along with your developer buddies etc. You want your cake and want to eat it too’, this is so wrong. Alot of those ‘mcMansions’ you see are owned by rich people from out of town. My opinion, but if they have that kind of money to build the house in the first place, they probably have money to rebuild it after a storm. The locals I have had the pleasure of knowing do not live in those beach front ‘mcMansions’. They live very modestly and alot have a tough time through the winter.

I have been reading and watching news non-stop about this hurricane. I have seen all the videos and pictures of Vermont. It is a horrible tragedy. I guess since their houses are now washed away they should not be allowed to rebuild because you never know when it will happen again. Don’t tell me it’s a once in a lifetime disaster for them, it happened once and it could happen again. Only God knows.

I am also sorry that you seem hateful and angry. You say you don’t care what the locals do there, but yet you have spent the time to write and express your opinion about it several times. Don’t get me wrong. You have all the right in the world to comment in the blog expressing whatever opinion you have, just as I do. I just think you got it all wrong. Someday I hope you will get the chance to meet some of these locals I am defending. They are wonderful people! Not a sermon, just a thought!

Stacy Devaney
Sterling, VA

Stacy Devaney (Email ) - 29-08-’11 23:56
don maize

Don Maize, Member.at camphatteras How did the campgronds fare during Hurricane Irene, was there much damage. Do you know anything about the trailers stored at Boyce Boys Storage and is the Rodanthe fishing pier still there. Thanks for any info you can give us.

don maize (Email ) - 30-08-’11 13:04

I’m sure most of the residents of this area don’t like taxes or the federal or state governments, but just how much of my tax dollars are going to rebuild a road that Mother Nature doesn’t really want for how many people? If the tourist industry makes so much money, perhaps they should rebuild your precious road.

Stephen (Email ) - 31-08-’11 13:55
Salvo Jimmy

So Stephen is that your position for all the bridges, roads, railroads, etc that were wiped out from NJ up to VT ?????. Seems there is a Mother nature problem there as well.

Salvo Jimmy (Email ) - 31-08-’11 14:10
Stacy Devaney

Really? Are we talking about the tourist industry of Disney World? Not! The number of visitors to HI has already dwindled due to ridiculous ORV restrictions. The coming Labor Day is one of the biggest beach weekends of the year. Now there is not even a road to get there. I dare say that the same may be true for all places that were in the path of Irene.

No Road = No Tourists = No Money

No Road = No Tourists = No Money

Stacy Devaney (Email ) - 31-08-’11 15:19

Salvo Jimmy
While I don’t agree with Stephen (but would prefer a bridge over the area rather than fill and fix the road), I don’t think your comparison to roads in NJ & VT which were lost in a 100-year event is the same situation as NC12 which is needing repairs almost annually.

Crotalus - 31-08-’11 17:17
Salvo Jimmy

Sorry Crot, not exactly as they say in the Hertz ad.

I’ve seen several reports from areas saying they are continually flooded with damage, but this one was higher than normal and did more damage. One report (mayor talking) said we always get about X ft of water but this one was X ++.

So we get damage just like they do on a regular basis and we got an X ++ as well. In Salvo for example it is likely a 100 yr event. I have a report from a person who eyeballed my place and sad the water mark equals and maybe exceeds the 1993 storm. IFP reported Halminski said it exceeded his 1993 mark by 16 inches. He’s about a 1/2 mile to the NW of me.

Nope, I see it as very similar to the flood prone areas up North. Yep more damage there and but more here. 100 yr event all around.

Salvo Jimmy (Email ) - 31-08-’11 20:04
Dave Cohn

Irene, I admire your courage and your devotion to covering the news the old-fashioned way — by being there.

Dave Cohn - 31-08-’11 21:20

Salvo, I can understand people wanting the government to bail them out (hey, it worked for Goldman-Sachs), but repairing a road that is damaged or destroyed in almost every storm again and again and again is a form of socialism, as well as a bad investment. It’s the very same thing as cutting a welfare check for someone who is irresponsible and won’t modify their behavior. In fact, it enables that very behavior. You all are dependent upon a road that is exists only because the government you so love to hate bails you out again and again. Yet, you rail against taxes and that very same government.

Pay for the road repairs yourself. This taxpayer doesn’t support it anymore.

Stephen (Email ) - 01-09-’11 13:33

Let’s face facts, people. The road or a bridge is going to be built. And I have no animosity against the hardy islanders who chose to ride out the storm. As far as your taxpayer dollars being used… I’m one of those out of towners who purchased a rental “Mcmansion” with my hard earned dollars. It cost a fortune to operate, but you know what – I don’t mind because it was my choice, and we enjoy the hell out of it. And, I directly contribute to the islands economy – taxes to the tune of $4000/yr, plus the economic activity it generates – pool cleaners, maintenence people, landscapers, rental management employees, gas, fishing tackle, charter boats, restaurants, etc. Where would HI’S economy be without the out of state dollars? Our family loves it down there, and we think the locals are some of the friendliest people we’ve ever met…. So, please don’t begrudge us for advocating the speedy repair of the road with ALL of our tax dollars. I’ve been paying social security for 40 years and doubt if I’ll ever see a penny of it, and God knows where all my tax dollars go every week. When I get a choice of how my tax dollars are spent, then I’ll conceed the point of you narrow minded people against the repair of the only road into the island.
Get over it and yourselves.

Al - 01-09-’11 16:39

To those of you who do not want any of "your" tax money used to repair Rte 12, or to aid the residents of HI: We would be glad to oblige, by keeping all the millions of tax dollars generated on the Outer Banks through tourism. If all that tax money was kept on the islands, the residents would be able to have nice homes instead of the many modest homes they have now, and they would not have to endure winters of no income. The islanders would also be able to make all repairs on a timely basis. Of course, all you naysayers will have to endure higher tax rates to make up for the loss of that income previously contributed to the rest of NC by the outer banks residents, business owners, and rental property owners.

beachbiz81 - 01-09-’11 16:41
Sherry and Mike

Hello Irene,
I understand about wanting to stay with the threat of a hurricane coming. Me and my fiance’ have been coming to the Outer Banks since 2000 on vacation during the week of July the 4th and staying in Ocracoke. He was stationed there while he was in the coast guard back in the 90’s. We absolutely love it. I would love to retire there. It is so peaceful and the people are great. Places like this make you forget about the hustle and bustle of the fast working part of the world. We haven’t been able to come down for the past two years but my goal is to return the summer of 2012 if everything goes ok. Wish all the people of the Outer Banks the best in their recovering from this as I know they will.

Sherry and Mike (Email ) - 01-09-’11 17:28
Salvo Jimmy


You should run for office. You avoided answering the question like many pols. Then try to deflect by throwing in stuff not directly related to the question including accusing me of all sort of things for which you have no basis.

I asked a simple question.

So can you answer the question ?????

Salvo Jimmy (Email ) - 01-09-’11 18:13

Salvo Jimmy,
Are you trying to say we get 100-year storms every year, or every other year?

Crotalus - 01-09-’11 19:13
Sharon Yoho

Can you get some information about the status of the campers in Boyce Boys Storage in Rodanthe? No footage or pics have showed this and Ron Boyce only has a cell phone so we may not hear for a long time. We would appreciate any information you can get.

Sharon Yoho (Email ) - 01-09-’11 19:43
Stephen Balena

As a life long newspaper man and weather enthusiast I fully understand why you stay. You are correct that one day a storm may make the choice for you, but for now I completely respect your decision to stay. Well done, excellent reporting and photography.

Stephen Balena (Email ) (URL) - 01-09-’11 22:19
Salvo Jimmy

Not at all Crot

As I recall last time the New Inlet area opened was 1933 nearly 80 yrs ago. Road was moved back in that area (1996 ?) but it was not a breach. So if filled in would it go another 80 yrs, maybe. So I submit that falls in the 100 yr catagory.

Yep S-Curve is a problem now continually so maybe it’s time to bridge over / around that area. Road there was moved back in 1988 and several repairs / moves since

North end of Pea Island is approaching S-Curve status.

Based on a pic I now have of my house showing debis line it was definitely a 40 yr (age of house) flooding event in Salvo.

Salvo Jimmy (Email ) - 02-09-’11 06:35
Salvo Jimmy

For those interested here is some NC12 history


Salvo Jimmy (Email ) - 02-09-’11 08:30
Salvo Jimmy

And here you can see the “Hot Spots”


Salvo Jimmy (Email ) - 02-09-’11 08:35

I just think it’s madness to live in a place where the roads blow out year after year, and when the same people who hate on the government and politicians go begging to them to rebuild their roads again and again. As a taxpayer, that’s not how I want my taxes spent. I don’t make enough to live in a house on the beach, and I fail to see why my taxes should subsidize your unsustainable lifestyle, no matter how much you enjoy it.

Stephen - 02-09-’11 09:48
dam Yankee


Very, very few of the locals live right on the beach. We live in the villages, or up in Buxton Woods where it doesn’t ever flood. If our ‘lifestyle’ is so ‘unsustainable’, how are we able to stay? Why do people stay in the midwest, where there seem to be tornado outbreaks every year? Why do people stay in California, where it seems they have every type of natural disaster known to man? Why do people stay anywhere? Storms HAPPEN. Earthquakes HAPPEN. Tornadoes HAPPEN. Should we all just crawl under a rock and die, because the world is so dangerous? NO. We say because this is our HOME. It’s that simple.

dam Yankee - 02-09-’11 10:15
dam Yankee

Oops, I meant STAY. Sorry.

dam Yankee - 02-09-’11 10:17
Hawk Hawkins

Stephen,what the hell is wrong with you?Nobody cares about how you want your taxes disbursed!If you don’t like the “unsustainable lifestyle” of the OBX people,then DON’T GO THERE! Don’t use the accursed road…and stop being such a whiney b—-h!

Hawk Hawkins (Email ) - 02-09-’11 10:55
Salvo Jimmy

And Stephen still deflects and does not answer my original question to him. I think he must already be an elected official. heh heh heh BTW Stephen I’m not a resident and my old 40 yr old place (built largely by myself, my Dad and a couple of now deceased locals) ain’t near ocean front

Hey Crot

I now have a pic of my place showing the water mark to be at least a foot above the 100 yr flood plain survey marker I have for flood insurance purposes. Previous Storm of the Century was a few inches below the marker. I’d say this one might be Storm of the Millinium (sp?)

Salvo Jimmy (Email ) - 02-09-’11 12:37
Salvo Jimmy

And this just on OBV


Salvo Jimmy (Email ) - 02-09-’11 12:41

Salvo Jimmy
The problem is there are issues with NC12 almost annually. I know you’re not saying each of those are 100-year events.

Crotalus - 03-09-’11 19:03

…for all who don’t want the road fixed for us rich Hatteras Islanders we will be more than happy to have you buy us out for what we’ve worked many hard hours and years for……in my families case that covers over 30 years. My wallet is open and waiting for your deposit.

bbc - 05-09-’11 11:20

If you had a Camper in the RWS area, shes a gonner… Was up there yesterday, and all I can say is WOW..

To Rick Rodd, I am down with your plan as Long as all of our tax dollars stay on the Island.. Ya see we Fund the ENTIRE State of NC.. So If all our tax dollars stay here the roads would be paved in GOLD


JAM (Email ) - 05-09-’11 14:42

Speaking of tax monies, I just looked at the amount of sales tax my small family owned business collected in 2010 and it was $35,000. That’s just one small Hatteras Island business and that’s just sales tax. I can only imagine the sum of all the other taxes we pay including land tax to Dare county. To those of you who don’t think we’re worth it down here, get off the ‘waste of taxpayer money’ bandwagon please. We would never be saying this about you if you were the victims of a natural disaster.

bcc - 05-09-’11 17:24
don maize

i have a trailer that is stored at Ron’s in rodanthe, Ron called the other day and he thinks that all the trailers were totaled. My question is can I come in as a property owner. I need to look at the trailer and see if any personal belongings are salvageable. I would appreciate some contact number who I can contact to see if I can come in as a property owner. Will they consider my trailer as a property owner? Don Maize don_maize@msn.com

don maize (Email ) - 05-09-’11 17:51

Mr Maize, unless you have ID stating you are a resident of one of the Island villages ie, a drivers license with an island address), you won’t be allowed back on the island till later.

Beachbiz81 - 05-09-’11 20:41

Don just call the insurance man.. 10 foot of water was up there I doubt anything is salvageable at this point. sorry for your loss.. Would love to meet Mr. Rodd.. He sounds like the type that chases the dog out from under the bed during a thunder storm, so he can hide.. After this fiasco, I doubt anyone will ever leave again.. JAM

JAM (Email ) - 06-09-’11 05:47
Salvo Jimmy

Don Maize,

Call 252 475 5655

That is the Dare # for reentry info.

Give them your situation. My guess is if you have something like a rental agreement for your storage you could fall in the category of non-resident property owner, like me. I will have to show my current tax bill or old reentry permit that is being honored to get back on when they open it up to non-resident owners.

They may not have thought about non resident trailer/motor home owners who have something stored on the island and don’t have a tax bill, utility bill, etc.

Folks at that number should be able to give you the info you are seeking.

Salvo Jimmy (Email ) - 06-09-’11 08:14

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