OUTER BANKS, N.C. (WAVY) — Awful Arthur left nasty reminders behind in the Outer Banks as he pushed off shore Friday morning. But the area, resilient from experience with many storms, is working to make a quick recovery.
At 9 a.m., Hurricane Arthur was downgraded to a Category 1 storm after much of it’s effects had moved on from North Carolina. Gov. Pat McCrory held a news conference at 9:30 a.m., proudly announcing, “North Carolina beaches are open for business.”
And in the northern Outer Banks, that seemed true, as the area seemed to make it through the storm relatively unscathed. 10 On Your Side found little significant damage in Kill Devil Hills, Kitty Hawk and Nags Head. Roofs and siding on homes were largely in tact, and one uprooted tree caused minor damage to a home in Nags Head Cove.
WAVY News’ Erin Kelly was in Nags Head Friday, and said people were beginning to return to the beach by noon, though, “no swimming” signs were in place. WAVY News’ Chris Horne spoke with surfers in Nags Head, who were incredibly pleased at the large waves the storm left behind.
While Arthur’s aftermath in the northern Outer Banks was mostly evident in minor flooding, standing water and sand blown onto roadways, that wasn’t the case for more southern areas, like Hatteras and Ocracoke.
In Rodanthe, WAVY crews saw more extensive flooding, roof damage and downed fences. “There is a lot of damage, I’ve got a little bit of roof damage. And there’s other people who have roof damage and siding, and a lot of tree limbs and things down,” said Becky Schowengerdt, who stayed the night in Rodanthe.
In Avon, flood waters turned back drivers, one of them OBX Towing’s Randy Miller: “I’m checking things out … the road ends here … this was not as bad as Isabel. We had six feet of flooding.”
And flooding, caused by sound side storm surge, prompted law enforcement to close Highway 64 from Manteo to Nags Head.
Photos showed NC Highway 12 buckled at Pea Island, due to the force of the storm surge, and in Mirlo Beach the road was covered with about a 1.5 inch layer of sand. But engineers with the North Carolina Department of Transportation said there are no major issues with the pavement and the road could be repaired by Saturday.
Governor McCrory went further, saying the road will be repaired by Saturday. 10 On Your Side asked George Basett, who was driving a NCDOT truck, when the highway will be ready.
“You will get off today, maybe tomorrow,” he said with a polite laugh.
NDCOT crews were working to make repairs to the highway to restore access to Hatteras Island as quickly as possible. Access to Hatteras Island remains closed until Highway 12 is determined to be safe for drivers.