Outer Banks

The owners of Blackbeard's Lodge say they'll have to work to recover from lost business during the power outage.
Blackbeard's Lodge

Full electric power has been restored and tourists are returning to Hatteras and Ocracoke islands at North Carolina's Outer Banks. A bridge construction crew cut underground transmission lines a week ago, and visitors were evacuated - at the height of the summer tourism season. WFAE's David Boraks talked to Helena Stevens, who runs the 38-room Blackbeard's Lodge on Ocracoke.

the Bonner Bridge
NCDOTcommunications

It's been almost a week since a bridge construction crew sliced through cables that send power to Hatteras and Ocracoke Islands, forcing an evacuation of tourists.  Officials are now saying it could be this weekend or early next week before the power is back on.

To get some perspective on the economic impact of all this during what is the Outer Banks' peak season, we reached Wit Tuttell. He's the executive director of Visit North Carolina. That's the tourism arm of the state commerce department.  

NCDOT Communications / Flickr/https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

If you drive to Hatteras Island on the Outer Banks, there’s only one way to go: over the Bonner Bridge. The near-three-mile bridge, which first opened in 1963, is the only access to the island other than ferries.  It also needs to be replaced. Building that replacement is on hold for now while a lawsuit over its construction plays out in court. Environmental groups have sued the state over its planned replacement, saying it would damage the Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge. They want the state to instead build a 17-mile replacement bridge that would swing out over the Pamlico Sound and bypass the refuge.

We wanted to know what residents of Hatteras Island say about the replacement project. Allen Burrus is a Dare County Commissioner representing the island.  He's also a lifelong resident.


Rising Seas Endanger Outer Banks, Atlantic Coast

Aug 30, 2012
swimparallel/Flickr

Large areas of the Outer Banks and elsewhere along the Atlantic Coast are in danger because of rising seas. That’s according to a recent report on climate change by two environmental groups.

Here’s what a beach vacation to Cape Hatteras or Cape Lookout might be like later this century:

"The summers could average as hot as those in Galveston, Texas, and it is well over half of the land out there that is vulnerable to being covered by a rising sea," said Stephen Saunders, the report's lead author.