Hurricane Bill leaves some homes, turtles in trouble

Posted August 23, 2009
Updated May 6, 2010

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— Although Hurricane Bill made no direct impact on the North Carolina coast, the 15-foot seas that the storm churned up has caused troubles for some homeowners and sea turtles.

The Star-News of Wilmington reported Sunday that residents of Bald Head Island are concerned that one more storm could claim a number of houses.

Update on Hurricane Bill 10 p.m. update on Hurricane Bill

Bald Head Island Mayor Larry Lammert said officials evacuated at least eight homes, some of them because they had five feet of water underneath them. Lammert said power to the homes was turned off as a precaution to avoid any chance of electrocution.

Lammert also said he believes Hurricane Bill wiped away the last of the sea turtle nests Friday night.

Since February, island officials said, they've lost more than 150 feet of beach in places, with erosion losses continuing.

Farther north, waves tore away septic, heating and air-condition systems from a house made famous by the movie "Nights in Rodanthe," starring Richard Gere.

Caretaker Frisco Mo said he had just finished repairs from past storms and reopened the house to rentals, but the fresh damage forced him to close the house again.

"I’m getting a little worn out. I’m kind of depressed over the whole thing. I had it beautiful two days ago. Now, I’m back to below zero somewhere," Mo said.

Support beams at Avon Pier, one of Cape Haterras' most frequented locations, were knocked out by Bill's force.

"I hate to see houses fall down and people losing property, but it is nature and how can you not love nature?” vacationer Paula Sonnenberg asked.

Along most of North Carolina's coast, rip currents and some rough waves were the main worries Sunday.

"The waves are starting to come down," WRAL meteorologist Mike Moss said. "At this point, it's really starting to pull away and have less and less impact on our coastline."

The primary impact Sunday will be "strong, frequent and potentially deadly" rip currents, according to the National Weather Service. Rough seas with up to 5 foot waves were expect to subside during the day.

Rip current safety tips.

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  • timothycapwell Aug 24, 2009

    Alternate headline: Barrier island shifts sand, nature at work.