BUXTON, N.C. (WNCN) — North Carolina’s newest island appears to be no more.
Footage provided to WNCN shows the island connecting, by exposed sand, to Cape Point on North Carolina’s Outer Banks.
The footage was shot by Joshua Branham during a flight tour from Barrier Island Aviation on Thursday.
That was after Hurricane Irma spent most of its energy far to the west and the south and as Hurricane Jose churned the Atlantic as it chugged northward. That storm is expected to stay 200 miles or more from Cape Point.
Branham spotted the island in May from the point, but the current was too strong at the time for him to safely reach the island, and he didn’t realize how significant it was until after he had left the area.
“I couldn’t wait to return to go there myself,” he said.
He spotted the change from the air, Branham said.
The island made headlines in July, after it went from a shallow, sandy area just off Cape Point to a full-fledged, albeit small island. It was a hit with the public, and a number of people had to be rescued after the tides proved too much for them as they sought to reach it.
Experts said from the outset that the island’s existence was likely to be brief, with the sand prone to disappearing into the same shifting tides that at first created the island.
It wasn’t immediately clear what impact this news will have on Hatteras Island resident and Hampton Roads businessman Ken Barlow’s efforts to claim title to the land.
Barlow’s legal maneuvering, which involved filing a quitclaim deed, was painted by officials as utterly divorced from reality.
Officials pointed out that Cape Point is already part of a federal National Seashore, similar to a National Park, and that a North Carolina state law specifically gives title to all newly emerged islands to the state government.
Barlow, however, insisted those interpretations were wrong and that he controlled the island.