N.C. beaches opening after brush with Hurricane Earl

Posted September 3, 2010
Updated September 4, 2010

— Most of North Carolina's beaches, except Hatteras Island, have been re-opened after Hurricane Earl landed less of a blow than feared, the governor and local officials say.

"It's going to be a beautiful Labor Day weekend in North Carolina," Gov. Bev Perdue said. "Folks who have summer plans can come on back and end up their summer here in North Carolina."

All beaches – and the bridges connecting them to the mainland – have been reopened in Currituck County, northern Dare County and in a stretch from the South Carolina border north through Carteret County that includes the Wilmington area, Crystal Coast and Core and Bogue banks.

Hurricane Earl (photo courtesy of Donny Bowers) Hurricane Earl maps and images

"It wound up being a pretty minor event for us – just a little bit of wind, little bit of rain, but generally no significant problems to speak of," Emerald Isle Town Manager Frank Rush said.

University of North Carolina-Wilmington student Quinn Christie hit the waves at Wrightsville Beach shortly after dawn.

"Got some nice tubes, so it was clean. It was a nice day out," Christie said.

Tourists have been showing interest at Johnnie Mercer's Fishing Pier, storekeeper Warren Long said.

"We're expecting a good weekend for Labor Day weekend," he said. "I've had a lot of people calling, wanting to go fishing this weekend."

Sky 5: Footage of eastern N.C. after Earl Sky 5: Footage of eastern N.C. after Earl

Nags Head Town Manager Cliff Ogburn said that visitors can keep their Labor Day plans and enjoy some nice beach days.

Most state parks, from Jockey's Ridge to Fort Macon, have reopened. Bear Island at Hammocks Beach State Park won't open until Saturday.

The southern half of the Outer Banks – including Hatteras Island in Dare County – remains cut off by 2 to 3 feet of sand and water piled on N.C. Highway 12, the only road connecting that island to the outside world. It's shut down south of the Bonner Bridge across the Oregon Inlet but will reopen Saturday at 7 a.m., transportation officials said.

Tires, tourists found in wake of Earl Tires, tourists found in wake of Earl

More than 30 DOT workers are using 24 pieces of heavy equipment to clear the highway. The hardest areas were Rodanthe and parts of Ocracoke.

For those who do make it out to the beaches, it will be a pleasant Labor Day weekend.

After the lingering clouds from Earl pass away, the sun will increase throughout the weekend. A cold front will slip across the state overnight Friday.

"Behind it, a very pleasant air mass builds in for the weekend and even for Labor Day, so we're talking about much cooler temperatures," WRAL meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner said.

Along the coast, temperatures will reach highs in the low to mid 80s through the holiday weekend.


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  • itsmyownopinion Sep 3, 2010

    Hurricanes are not political.

  • Frank Downtown Sep 3, 2010

    In the end it is better to be over prepaired and not under prepaired!!

  • miketroll3572 Sep 3, 2010

    How about enough already......we get it......the hurricane missed the beach.....still not going.

  • ncguy Sep 3, 2010

    who owns that dead house walking?

  • hywilson Sep 3, 2010

    You know, If there wasnt enough build of the hurricanes and snows, and rains you all would fuss and complain b/c you were given no warning. If theres lots of build up and no event you all complain b/c there was too much drama-What would you like?? I personally am glad theres build up-if I owned a house at the beach I would want to be as prepared as one can be. IM so thankful Earl wasnt as bad as it could have been. Im thankful that ALL media outlets make a big to do. Mother Nature is no force to be wreckoned with.

  • Peace Love and Cold Meds Sep 3, 2010

    I'm jumping for joy. Let the Dove Hunters rejoice. For a glancing blow we give thanks, now load 'em up boys and wake up Hank!

  • uncw05 Sep 3, 2010

    Dave Green- they took care of that this morning

  • Ambygirl Sep 3, 2010

    Chris, I'm with you. Jackaroo is a Jack---!! We'll tell Bev to send him information on a "need-to-know" basis next time a Cat 4 shows up.........but then again since he's such an expert, we won't have to tell him at all will we??

  • Blueboxinggloves Sep 3, 2010

    Okay, as far as NC is concerned, Earl has come and gone and it wasn't as bad as first expected. Can we please turn the page now?

  • Dave Green Sep 3, 2010

    No mention of cancelling the State of Emergency declaration which would make it legal for Dove hunters to observe opening day of the season tomorrow. Failure to cancel the SOE will continue to make it unfawfull to transport firearms off of your own property per general statutes. Also, the SOE by statute will not expire for 30 days unless cancelled.