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Residents Return To A Sandy Carolina Beach

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CAROLINA BEACH — Carolina Beach in New Hanover County received some of the most visible damage from Hurricane Bonnie. Residents were allowed to return to their homes Thursday night, and they spent the day Friday assessing the damage and cleaning up.

Water and sand busted down a door and rushed into Brandy and Lee Patrick's Carolina Beach home. They say they lost everything.

"What was here, it had no price on it. It was all priceless," said Lee Patrick.

One of the biggest problems in Carolina Beach was the sand washing into the streets making roads impassable for cars.

Bulldozers are busy clearing sand off of the streets, but high water still stands on Atlantic Avenue. Much of the damage was to roofs and garages. But as bad as it looks, people who live here say this is nothing compared to Fran.

"It's not as bad. Fran really tore this place up. It's not even close to as bad as that was," Carolina Beach resident Steve Monzingo said.

Bob Krol's condominium had only minor water damage, but he's frustrated by how long it took to get information and access to the island.

"Here we are. It's our home and we're not able to get back or told why we can't go back. That hurts," Krol said.

For that same reason, Brian Blevins chose to stay on the island during Bonnie.

"I stayed because I couldn't get back on if I left, and I had to take care of my property. Getting back on is tough right now," Blevins explained.

If there is a silver lining to the disaster, beach combers say it's the big, beautiful shells which Bonnie washed up on the beach.

"That's the best part. Other than that it's not a lot of fun. It's a big mess," said Carolina Beach resident Donna Wilson.

Carolina Beach officials say they will open up the area to everyone as soon as they feel it is safe. Power and water have been restored, but many streets are still several feet deep in sand.

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Amanda Lamb, Reporter
Mark Copeland, Photographer
John Clark, Web Editor

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