After Arthur, Ocracoke open to all
Posted July 6, 2014
Ocracoke, N.C. — As the sun rose over the Atlantic Ocean Sunday travelers lined up to board the ferry for Ocracoke Island. Ferry service resumed after two days of cleanup in the wake of Hurricane Arthur's 100-mph passing.
Throughout the weekend, Tideland EMC crews worked to repair 45 utility poles damaged by the Category 2 storm. The power was turned back on over the whole island Saturday night.
Road crews spent Saturday repairing some damage on North Carolina Highway 12, which links Ocracoke to its ferry terminal. Residents and property owners were allowed to return on Saturday, and the island opened to visitors Sunday morning.
Samantha Reiner was eager to resume a vacation interrupted by a voluntary evacuation.
"The ranger said we had to go, had to go," Reiner said.
Instead of their annual Fourth of July camp out, Reiner's family spent the holiday weekend in a hotel.
"Spending ten times as much money as I would be, not eating the food in my cooler, my pots and pans are in my pop-up camper," she said. "Very frustrating."
The storm was frustrating too to the businesses that thrive on tourist like Reiner.
Leslie Lanier, of Books to be Red, said the early-season storm hurt the narrative of a busy summer beachfront community.
Her bookstore saw a slowdown in the spring that she's counting on summer tourism to right. "There was a drop off in visitors because of the rainy weather we had," Lanier said.
With Arthur out of the picture, she's ready again to welcome visitors.
"We're open for business," Lanier said. "The restaurants are open. The motels are open. The gift shops, the bookstore is open. We're open for business. The island is beautiful, the weather is beautiful and we want you to come visit."
National parks in the Outer Banks – Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Wright Brothers National Memorial and Fort Raleigh National Historic Site – resumed normal operations Sunday as well. Ocracoke Campground opened to the public Sunday evening.