Hello friends. I know it's been a long time since I've posted and I was actually waiting until I had finished my public comment about the new NPS proposed rule before I did. Of course you'll see that shortly as the deadline for comment is midnight on the sixth of this month. If you havn't commented already, please do so. Information on how this can be done is to be found at www.obpa.org www.ncbba.org and also www.islandfreepress.org It is very important that all persons who care about access to our beaches submit comment and condemn this "plan" as it serves only to deny us access to our public lands and destroy the collective economies of Hatteras and Ocracoke Islands.
Today I write a plea for help.
As Hurricane Irene made it's way past the islands, it first blew the water in the Pamlico Sound over and onto the mainland which caused devastating flooding on top of the wind damage generated by hours and hours of sustained winds from a storm that moved at a pace seemingly similar to that of continental drift.
As it moved Northeast, all of the water that had piled up on the "backside" of the sound came rushing back on very heavy, sustained, Southwest winds and inundated the villages of Avon, Rodanthe, Waves and Salvo causing the loss of approximately 1100 homes and businesses. In many cases, some lost all but the clothes on their backs. And reports also suggest that the back surge, (the water returning) which I'm told topped 10' above ground level also took out something in the neighborhood of 90% of the vehicles that had to remain behind for one reason or another in the northern villages mentioned above.
In addition, Highway 12, the one lifeline that almost all of the islands residents depend on has been cut in at least five places rendering direct relief impossible. So supplies must come by ferry from Stumpy Point, N.C. which has been even more difficult because of shoaling in the sound and making passage for the two to three and a half ride, depending on where the Captain has to go, dependant on the high tide which occurs only twice a day.
In addition to the loss of the one road on and off the islands and the difficult ferry passage, that same route delivers most of the power to our homes and that too has been severely compromised. The Cape Hatteras Electric Co-op (CHEC) has ordered and installed several generators which are still working hard to handle the load needed to sustain those left on the islands which is one reason cited for not allowing residents that heeded the evacuation order to come home, Including myself.
But this isn't about me. It's about those still on the islands that need your help.
There are quite a few amazing people both on and off island that are going out of their way to help and to try and get supplies to those that remain. This has unfortunately been hindered by the powers that be who have placed the islands on virtual lockdown. I read today that emergency supplies were flown by helicopter to towns up north (New England) who were flooded by the rains from Irene but apparently no such assistance will be given to the residents of the Islands. Instead, the docks are blockaded by Federal officials and the airports are closed.
On top of that, the infamous environmental groups that have already caused so much harm to all of us have apparently filed an intent to sue in order to prevent the reconstruction of Highway 12 in spite of the fact that North Carolina owns the right of way.
This is a heinous act and needs to be fought as thoroughly and as humanly possible.
As for relief efforts, as usual, as many as can on the islands are providing relief but they need help. Many have joined in the effort to send supplies and have been actively attempting to have them delivered as soon as possible.
Of special note, is a fellow by the name of William Carter ( obx fishing on facebook) who has set up shop in Elizabeth City and partnered with Performance Chevrolet to collect and deliver supplies. Also working with him are Autumn Krozer and the staff at Dixie 105.7, all who have also worked tirelessly for beach access.
Other folks that are working hard include an interfaith group who can be reached at 252-475-5758 or 252-475-5759.
The Salvation Army is also involved in relief efforts.
Of course, Irene Nolan at www.islandfreepress.org provides a great deal of information including plenty of photos taken by my friend Don Bowers which will help you understand what's happened to our home.
Help can also be given by calling the office of Governor Perdue and insisting that our road is reconstructed as soon as possible. The Army Corps of Engineers could span the breaches and have supplies delivered in short order. If they can do it in combat conditions, this should be a piece of cake. Phone: (800) 662-7952 or (919) 733-2391
Also Call Ken Salazars office, the Secretary of the Interior, and insist the same. Phone: (202) 208-3100
Lets put some pressure on these folks. Don't forget to call your elected representatives and make the same complaint.
In the mean time, please help if you can.