Wrightsville Damage Appears to Be Minimal
Posted August 26, 1998 7:00 a.m. EDT
WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH — Just before dawn, dozens of homeowners headed for the intercoastal waterway bridge, hoping to check on their homes, boats and businesses. However, they were turned away by authorities until 4:30 p.m. Thursday.
"From what I hear on the radio, it's just been cosmetic damage," said Alan Avera. "So, I think we've been very blessed. There doesn't seem to be any damage. We'll just wait and see."
"We're very lucky, because last time Fran was a lot worse, a lot worse," Chris Girolami explained. "I mean, your mouth just dropped. I'm relieved anyway."
"I just heard there is a lot of cosmetic damage," said Chris Black. "I don't know if that means my house is completely flooded, or what?"
With the exception of a toppled boat and scattered clean-up crews, Wrightsville Beach appeared untouched.
From what could be seen at the bridge, the damage appeared minimal. Some homeowners believe they were hit harder than others.
"I was taking a look through the binoculars to see if I could locate the house," explained homeowner Jack Wells. "I have in fact. And what I am seeing puzzles me a little bit because the second-level bedroom window is where we placed a 4' x 8' piece of plywood. All I see is a black square."
There was some flooding that had receded. Town officials say Bonnie effected utilities, and may have done interior damage to homes.
"The town's water and sewer system was knocked down, and we have to get it back up," Wrightsville Beach PIO Ed Taylor said. "There has been a lot of storm water that has infiltrated the mechanism, not the system, but the mechanism. We have to get that running."
The systems were restored and began running Thursday afternoon.
There is good news from Shell Island. The sand bags there did their job and the resort is still intact. In fact, it appears there is very little structural damage.