Skip

The Outer Banks has been preforated, once again.
August 30, 2011 12:26 PM   Subscribe

Location and pictures of the NC 12 breaks, in Google Maps Hurricane Irene did less damage than expected -- unless you experienced any of that damage yourself. NC 12, the lone road connecting the towns on Hatteras Island and the rest of the barrier islands of the Outer Banks, or OBX, in eastern North Carolina, was cut in two places and overwashed in another spot. Ocracoke Island, accessible only by ferry, was overwashed, as well. The state vows to repair, even if it's inevitable that it will happen again.
posted by legweak (31 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
Tunnels are our only hope.
posted by blue_beetle at 12:27 PM on August 30, 2011


Is it insensitive to say that maybe it's time to stop rebuilding permanent settlements on spits of sand in the the ocean? Maybe turn this area into a national park like the Sleeping Bear Dunes in Michigan?
posted by zzazazz at 12:30 PM on August 30, 2011 [6 favorites]


Outer Banks, or OBX

Don't call it that.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 12:31 PM on August 30, 2011 [6 favorites]


Free the NC 12!!
posted by Naberius at 12:32 PM on August 30, 2011 [4 favorites]


Is it insensitive to say that maybe it's time to stop rebuilding permanent settlements on spits of sand in the the ocean? Maybe turn this area into a national park like the Sleeping Bear Dunes in Michigan?

x1000
posted by Malice at 12:33 PM on August 30, 2011


Is it insensitive to say that maybe it's time to stop rebuilding permanent settlements on spits of sand in the the ocean?

Settlements are okay. It's the state road that got thrashed. Additionally, do you have any idea how much cash tourism injects into the eastern NC economy?
posted by codswallop at 12:34 PM on August 30, 2011 [4 favorites]


I suggest not paving the road. It would be the excuse I need to buy an old Range rover...
posted by legweak at 12:35 PM on August 30, 2011


Yeah - why build shit when it's just gonna get destroyed again??? That's why I propose we just stop building shit ever, cuz in a couple billion years, this whole "Earth" thing is gonna just get all fucked up by the expanding sun anyways. I mean, why bother.
posted by symbioid at 12:35 PM on August 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


Don't call it that.

Why not? Thats what lots of people call it.
posted by ejazen at 12:35 PM on August 30, 2011


NC 12 is dangerously unstable in simple rainstorms, not just hurricanes. A former high school teacher of mine was killed when he was driving during a storm—all of a sudden, there was no road under his tires.

I have tons of good memories of Hatteras Island and the Outer Banks, and I hope it stays beautiful and inhabited (but not too inhabited) for years to come.
posted by infinitewindow at 12:37 PM on August 30, 2011


Outer Banks, or OBX

Don't call it that.

Why not? Thats what lots of people call it.


I don't think anyone outside of realtors and marketing people call it that.
posted by NoMich at 12:38 PM on August 30, 2011 [3 favorites]


Why not? Thats what lots of people call it.

I don't think anyone outside of realtors and marketing people call it that.


People do get those OBX stickers, but they don't ever call it OBX as far as I know. If said that to me, I'd be pretty surprised.

Settlements are okay. It's the state road that got thrashed. Additionally, do you have any idea how much cash tourism injects into the eastern NC economy?

This is the big thing; leaving aside the fact that people have lived there for a long time and plenty of people have deep roots and history there, without roads and communities to support the tourism, the "economy" in most of Eastern NC would just be out of work fishermen until you far enough inland to hit the hog farms.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 12:40 PM on August 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


Don't call it that.

Why not?


Why not.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 12:40 PM on August 30, 2011


Is it insensitive to say that maybe it's time to stop rebuilding permanent settlements on spits of sand in the the ocean? Maybe turn this area into a national park like the Sleeping Bear Dunes in Michigan?

Or the state could just give out hovercrafts. Pave your own road, baby!
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:40 PM on August 30, 2011


OBX.com has an aerial video tour of the damage available here.
posted by legweak at 12:40 PM on August 30, 2011


Hurricane Irene did less damage than expected -- unless you experienced any of that damage yourself.

This is a really good point. $7 billion in damages is nothing to sneeze (or sneer, as the case may be) at.
posted by KokuRyu at 12:45 PM on August 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


Is it insensitive to say that maybe it's time to stop rebuilding permanent settlements on spits of sand in the the ocean? Maybe turn this area into a national park like the Sleeping Bear Dunes in Michigan?

As a frequent visitor to the area I'm not sure I understand the point in making it less accessible. It's already a single road. If you're proposing just abandoning the area, I think global sea levels will take care of that soon enough. I'd prefer to be able to visit it while it lasts, whether that's by road or by ferry.
posted by odinsdream at 12:54 PM on August 30, 2011


FYI, there are section north of Duck and Corolla (not on Hatteras Island, by the way) that are accessible only via 4-wheel drive. The pavement stops in Corolla.
posted by legweak at 1:04 PM on August 30, 2011


Hurricane Irene did less damage than expected -- unless you experienced any of that damage yourself.

This sentence no sense.
posted by DU at 1:13 PM on August 30, 2011


Ocracoke Island was washed out? Oh, man. Blackbeard threw parties there, you know.
posted by Faint of Butt at 1:16 PM on August 30, 2011


Here's a key quote from a 2009 abstract from Stanley Riggs, a venerable coastal researcher, and others:

The ongoing natural processes have escalated efforts to stabilize these dynamic islands and associated inlet in time and space by utilizing massive rock jetties and revetments, kilometers of sand bags and constructed dune ridges, and extensive beach nourishment projects. As the coastal system responds to ongoing processes of rising sea level and storm dynamics, efforts to engineer fixes are increasing and now constitute a “human hurricane” that pits conventional utilization of the barriers against the natural coastal system dynamics that maintain barrier-island integrity over the long term.

from: here (pdf file; Eye of a human hurricane: Pea Island, Oregon Inlet,and Bodie Island, northern Outer Banks, North Carolina).
posted by pappy at 1:21 PM on August 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


>Hurricane Irene did less damage than expected -- unless you experienced any of that damage yourself.

This sentence no sense.


There is the general sense that the eastern seaboard dodged a bullet (it could have been worse), but this is cold comfort to the people who were injured or lost a loved one to the storm, or who have been affected by storm damage and flooding.
posted by KokuRyu at 1:33 PM on August 30, 2011 [5 favorites]


Barrier islands are designed to shift, disappear and reappear. Human attempts to anchor them in one place are complicated.
posted by tippiedog at 2:30 PM on August 30, 2011


I've been following this news as I have a hotel booked on Ocracoke for this weekend. Apparently the flooding there was not especially bad, however they normally receive electric power along NC 12. Currently they have intermittent power supplied by a centralized generator. Here is the current public advisory as of this morning (PDF).

Twitter has been a source of news, in particular the feed from the WOVV radio station (their website is informative as well) and also this feed.
posted by exogenous at 3:07 PM on August 30, 2011


This is a really good point. $7 billion in damages is nothing to sneeze (or sneer, as the case may be) at.

Is there any data available on the cost of the evacuations themselves?
posted by Justinian at 5:08 PM on August 30, 2011


Here's a key quote from a 2009 abstract from Stanley Riggs, a venerable coastal researcher, and others:

Thanks for the link. I was first presented with the idea that "protecting" beaches from receding only ensures their destruction in How to Read a North Carolina Beach: Bubble Holes, Barking Sands, and Rippled Runnels, something that starts off as merely a manual for understanding the geology of the beach, but presents the case against overdeveloping beaches. I still love every time I'm oceanfront, but I cringe, especially when I see towns like Myrtle Beach.
posted by artifarce at 5:21 PM on August 30, 2011


Maybe turn this area into a national park like the Sleeping Bear Dunes in Michigan?

It is already.

It's one of the most wild and beautiful natural wonders you can see. And the only way to get there is NC 12. The little villages out there are pre-existing to the NPS designation with defined borders they cannot grow beyond. It's the most undeveloped area on the East Coast, with about 60 miles of wilderness shoreline.
posted by 3.2.3 at 9:31 PM on August 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


Why not? Thats what lots of people call it.

I don't think anyone outside of realtors and marketing people call it that.


That's ridiculous. Almost every car registered in the Outer Banks has a license plate that begins with OBX followed by a 5 digit number. The state troopers were using them Monday morning at the roadblock before the bridge onto the banks to tell who was local and could be let through and who was a potential out of towner and needed to show proof of residency. They weren't letting tourists in until noon so there was a large number of people parked waiting for the clock.

My in-laws rent a house every year, and we've had shitty luck for the past two. We had to evacuate for the big storm the year before and our rental this year started Saturday morning.

I was really worried about this storm potentially causing some catastrophic landscape changes. When I got there this weekend I was really surprised that they seemed to have gotten off better than I did back home in Hampton. Of course, there aren't any trees higher than the dunes at the beach, so...
posted by daHIFI at 1:25 PM on August 31, 2011


Is it insensitive to say that maybe it's time to stop rebuilding permanent settlements on spits of sand in the the ocean? Maybe turn this area into a national park like the Sleeping Bear Dunes in Michigan?

Most of it is a national park. And what do you mean, "permanent settlements?" Everyone who lives there year 'round knows damn well where they are; their houses are generally pretty modest and realistic.

High-rise hotels are not permitted, and buildings must be behind the dunes. Investors who build expensive rental vacation homes deserve what they get if their oversized beach houses get squashed, but they probably turn a profit before that.
posted by desuetude at 9:53 PM on August 31, 2011




Would it be likewise insensitive to tell the people in California to stop rebuilding in earthquake or brush fire prone zones? Or the folks under sea level in New Orleans? If you're going to force some you'd have to force all of them.
posted by wkearney99 at 6:43 AM on September 8, 2011


« Older Think of the costume changes...   |   Parable of the tribes Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post