to going places
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
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 mans
first powered airplane
flight is found on The Outer Banks. And don’t miss the trademark lighthouses
that dot the coastline.
Outer Banks water
“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