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Minimal Damage at Atlantic Beach, Residents Feel Relieved

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ATLANTIC BEACH — Friday, Atlantic Beach residents got a first hand look at the some of the damage that was left behind from Hurricane Bonnie, and they consider themselves to be very lucky.

Ken Lassiter had to wade through water a foot deep when he returned to his weekend retreat at Atlantic Beach.

"A waterfront lot. Nice, isn't it? This is terrible," Lassiter said.

Water also covers some of the roads on Emerald Isle, but erosion is a bigger problem. Locals say the dunes are half the size of normal before Bonnie. The storm ripped shingles from many roofs along the beach.

Planks from an Emerald Isle pier were scattered in the street.

"Right behind you there, there's a big 2 by 12 and 3 by twelves. That's all a part of the pier," said contractor Adam Skorcz.

As residents returned to their homes, they were thankful to discover that most of the damage was minimal.

"You never know if cable lies across live lines, so you always treat everything down as live," one resident said. "Looking at the damage, it seems to be a little lighter than we expected. Just a lot of loose shingles. So we'll take that for storm one."

A couple of people at Atlantic Beach are still concerned about Hurricane Danielle, but they don't think it's going to be a big problem.

Most of Atlantic Beach was still without power Friday evening. They lost a main line that goes under the sound, and crews are working on it. They are having a little trouble getting it back going.

Friday morning, officials were only allowing residents back on the island, but now, anyone is being allowed on the island.