Outer Banks Says Good Bye and Good Riddance to Sandy

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Sandy is over a week gone, the N’orEaster that followed in its wake has chugged off to the north and there’s a general feeling on the Outer Banks of good bye and good riddance.

Compared to the damage inflicted on our neighbors to the north, picking up the pieces is proving to be a pretty simple task. There’s some road repair, minor structural damage and about a dozen septic systems have to be replaced–an important part of Outer Banks recovery since there are no central sewer systems in this neck of the woods–or is that beach.

The jury is still out on what will happen at Avalon Pier. Sandy severed the pier in two places, leaving two segments of broken planks and out of kilter pilings. The stub of the pier that is left still goes far enough out for fishing–I was out there earlier this weak and they were pulling in a lot of speckled trout. Good sized ones, too.

Road repairs are going to take a couple of weeks. NCDOT is working pretty hard to get Hatteras Island connected with the rest of the world. The ferry connection from Stumpy point that is the emergency backup is inconvenient, time consuming and when the wind blows too long and too hard from any one direction, prone to cancellation since the sound gets too shallow to navigate.

The Problem is the same one that keeps occurring–the S curves, just north of Rodanthe were again compromised by the Ocean. Nothing like Irene, but a lot of sand and some damage to the road does take time to fix.

According to a NCDOT engineer, they’re going to shift the roadbed slightly to the west (again) still staying in their right of way. The right of way through Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge is 100’, and, although Refuge official have indicated that they will work with DOT on permitting, it will be a long, drawn out process if that is needed. The last report we got was that 4WD vehicles will be allowed access starting this weekend.

In Kitty Hawk there’s about 200 yards of road that was destroyed by the ocean. According to engineers, it should be good to go by the end of the month.

For the most part, things have been going pretty smoothly with recovery, although a crane rebuilding the dune line in Kitty Hawk hit a power line yesterday. Pretty scary, I’m sure, for the  crane operator and power for about a half mile from the intersection of the Beach Road and Ocean Boulevard was out for a few hours, but that was more of a glitch than a stumble.

The weekend is looking great. Temperatures in the mid 60’s, nice sunshine. Perfect running weather for the Outer Banks Marathon. That is a great event–and actually it has become much more than a 26+ mile run. The marathon and half marathon are both on Sunday morning starting on the Woods Road in Kitty Hawk (a magnificent and beautiful setting) and continuing on to Manteo. Saturday features a number of shorter races including a one mile fun run.

When it started seven years ago, it was really just a marathon and not much more. It has grown, evolved and really become another wonderful example of fun and family on the Outer Banks. One more reason to visit in the off season.

Photo by OuterBanksThisWeek.com