Local News

Movers Taking Lighthouse by Storm

Posted February 25, 1999

— With waves lapping within feet of its base, theCape Hatteras Lighthousehas taken on the look of a construction zone in recent weeks.

Piece by piece, movers are transporting buildings in the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse complex to a location away from the water.

Crews are busy unloading steel to shore up the lighthouse for its move by rail. And a flatbed truck has transported a keeper's house to higher ground.

The move of the lighthouse itself is still months away and opponents haven't given up their fight.

Randy Jordan wanted to capture this history for his daughter's school in Kannapolis.

"This is fascinating, but also sad that the beach is eroding," says Jordan. "Hopefully this will take care of it and won't have any more problems."

But not everyone thinks moving the grand structure 2,900 feet away from the shore line is a good idea.

Loretta O'Neal's grandfather served as an assistant keeper of the lighthouse and lived here.

"To me it's heartbreaking. I was very much against the move," says O'Neal. "It's like a part of Cape Hatteras Island is gone. It's like part of your heart being ripped out."

Locals still hope lawsuits will stop the move of the lighthouse. But they admit it is looking more and more like a done deal in the dunes of Buxton.

"That old, glorious light that we've always depended on, it was always the first thing you ever saw when you headed down Oregon Inlet," says O'Neal. "You saw that revolving light. You knew you were headed home and it felt good."

The move of the lighthouse to its new home is expected to begin in June.

The price tag for the entire project is estimated at $12 million.

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