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Virginia: Guide

to going places

The Homestead Greece Colonial Williamsburg Blandford

Summer trips: Outer Banks






Banks of North Carolina

Vacationers at the Outer Banks this season can expect to see some of the

rough handiwork of Hurricane Isabel, which swept over the east coast in

September 2003.

Long stretches of the 137-mile barrier islands emerged from the hurricane

little or none the worse. But some areas, notably in Kitty Hawk, Nags

Head and Hatteras village, are still recovering. A few spots look as devastated

as they did the day after the storm.

Tourists will find no shortage of rental houses, partly because builders

are erecting them faster than nature has been knocking them down. But

hundreds of moderately priced motel rooms were lost in the storm.

All along the Outer Banks, Isabel reshaped or obliterated the protective

dunes lining the water’s edge. The beaches were narrowed by the storm

but are expected to grow wider as the summer progresses, but lower than

normal as a result of Isabel’s pounding.

Northern Outer Banks (Currituck County, from Corolla to Duck):

Cleaning up after Isabel was relatively easy here. The high surf sheared

the faces of many protective dunes, leaving a clifflike profile, and breached

the dune line in eight places, flooding residential areas directly behind

them. But there was little other damange aside from that localized flooding.

Local officials and rental agents in the area say that most if not all

rental properties in the county are open for business., the damage on

Currituck’s Outer Banks consisted mainly of missing shingles.

Hatteras village: In sharp contrast to Corolla and Duck, Hatteras

village, at the southern tip of Hatteras Island, is still reelingafter

Isabel cut a new inlet that turned the village into an island. The 1/3-mile

wide inlet was plugged with a vast quantity of dredged sand, then topped

with a new stretch of State Highway 12 reconnecting the village to the

tourist trade. The new road is protected by a fresh line of dunes, piled

up by bulldozers and newly planted with sea oats to help hold the sand

in place. In the village, Isabel’s storm surge of more than 12 feet wiped

out an entire row of mom-and-pop motels, including the General Mitchell

Motel. Altogether, the village lost more than 200 motel rooms to Isabel.

Elsewhere on the Banks: Between the extremes of Corolla and Hatteras,

the storm spread its damage unevenly. It caused little damage in the Hatteras

Island communities of Avon, Buxton, Frisco, Salvo and Waves, but considerable

wreckage in Rodanthe. To the north, it struck hard at Nags Head, South

Nags Head and Kitty Hawk.


the damage, there’s still plenty to do on the Outer Banks. The area is

brimming with historic attractions — the 16th century history of our

first settlers is celebrated on Roanoke Island. Even the site of man’s

first powered airplane

flight is found on The Outer Banks. And don’t miss the trademark lighthouses

that dot the coastline.


to do

Outer Banks water



Banks land


Outer Banks



Outer Banks


For more

information: 877-OBX-4FUN


“Back from the Breach: Outer Banks is open for summer business despite

lingering pockets of storm damage,” by Bill Geroux, staff writer,

Richmond Times-Dispatch, May 16, 2004; Outer

Banks Visitors Bureau


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