Local News

Hurricane Dennis Brushes North Carolina Beaches, Heads Out to Sea

Posted August 29, 1999

— Hurricane Dennis did not seem to be in hurry as the storm sideswiped the North Carolina coast. Now the storm is spinning just off Cape Hatteras.

At 5 a.m, Dennis was 165 miles east of Cape Hatteras, moving toward the east-northeast near 7 mph.

The Hurricane Warning that was along the state's coast has been lifted. Now, a Tropical Storm Warning is in effect along the North Carolina coast from Cape Lookout to the Virginia border including Pamlico and Albemarle Sounds. Listen to the8:30 a.m. forecastfrom WRAL Meteorologist Mike Maze.

WRAL has the coast covered with a staff of reporters and photographers. Here are their reports as of 11 p.m. Monday.

Kill Devil Hills, Dare County Reporters: Len Besthoff and Jim Payne

You do not have to experience the eye of a hurricane to feel its fury. Drenching rains and howling winds took its toll on the Outer Banks.

Monday on Hatteras Island, N.C. 12 was washed out. Sand and water covered the road, but all of the familiar landmarks are reported to be in good shape.

Damage from Dennis is scattered about as are power outages. Many power lines are dangling, and some houses' shingles have been ripped from roofs.

Damage reports are still coming in, although right now it appears to be mainly cosmetic with damage to window screens and some roof damage. N.C. 12 is littered with trash picked up by the winds. The trash had been left outside for Monday morning pickup.

Four men from Manteo were rescued from Roanoke Sound by a Coast Guard helicopter Monday morning. Their boat capsized while they were trying to secure it.

Watch the Real Video file (28.8andISDN).

A fire call went out Monday morning in Kill Devil Hills, and firefighters responded to the call at the house. One of the firefighters accidently touched a live power line. He was taken to the hospital, and was treated and released.

There are still about 7,100 people in the Outer Banks area without power. It is still too windy for power crews to fix the outages, and those customers will likely remain without power through the night.

Atlantic Beach,

There has been about eight inches of rainfall at Atlantic Beach. Huge waves pounded the beach all day, and some people tempted fate by surfing the large waves.

In Atlantic Beach during the peak of the storm, 5,000 residents were without power. Wind gusts were reported at up to 86 mph.

While there is damage to canopies and rooftops, the damage seems to be minimal. The biggest concern is beach erosion.

During the peak of the storm, the bridge from Morehead City to Atlantic Beach was closed, but it is now open.

There are numerous people still without power at Atlantic Beach, but power crews from across the state are working on trying to restore power to all customers by Tuesday.

Wrightsville Beach, New Hanover County Reporters: Todd Hauer and Amanda Lamb

By 10 a.m. Monday, anxious homeowners had lined up at the bridge. Dennis may have brushed the coast, but he did not scratch their homes.

In Wilmington Monday morning, the wind and rain came early and died down fast. Residents and vacationers are returning to town, and shelters are closed.

Carolina Power & Lightsays about 43,000 residents in the coastal area were without power at some point during the storm. Many have now had power restored and crews are working quickly to make sure all power is restored.

One home at Holden Beach, apparently already damaged, was destroyed.

The total structural damage in Wilmington and Wrightsville Beach is estimated at roughly $30,000.

Big surf, some flooding and some minor damage was all that Dennis left at Topsail Island in Pender County.

About 95 percent of the people left Topsail Beach when the evacuation order went out. Only about 400 people chose to stay at Wrightsville Beach.

New Bern, Craven County Reporter: Brian Bowman

It is not unusual for New Bern to have heavy flooding every couple of years. Heavy winds pushed the Neuse River upstream and out of its banks, but wind damage was minimal.

New Bern's Front Street was gobbled up by the Neuse River. New Bern is littered in a few spots by downed trees and branches, but the main problem is the water.

Heavy winds did not do a lot of damage, but they packed enough punch to rock even the largest boats in the city's marinas.

Craven County's Emergency Management Team said there were no reports of injuries there because of the storm. They hope the Neuse will recede enough to reopen Front Street Monday night. ,Ed Wilson,David RennerandBrian Bowman


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