The OUTER BANKS, NORTH CAROLINA, include a half dozen long narrow barrier islands protecting PAMLICO SOUND and the mainland of North Carolina. About 40 miles North of the main village of HATTERAS, lie three small villages: RODANTHE, WAVES, & SALVO.
SPIA and I have been invited to spend a week or so at the Summer Home of Karen, a long time follower of this blog (we have not yet met one another). Karen's home, DEJA VU, is located in the village of RODANTHE on the PAMLICO SOUND side of SR 12 - the Atlantic Ocean beaches lie a couple hundred feet on the opposite side of SR 12. Last night, our first night in RODANTHE, the constant roar of waves crashing against the sandy shore of HATTERAS ISLAND, were like a sleep potion to me.
I was up and walking as the Sun silhouetted these Ocean Front Homes. From Karen's home, the Ocean Beach is a half city block away.
SPIA snugged under the carport of Karen's home.
The dirt road in front of Karen's driveway...which I spent 5 hours shoveling and brushing away 1/2 inch of mud from the concrete driveway. During the height of Hurricane IRENE two months ago, a good five feet of water flowed freely over the entire island. Any homes or buildings under 5 feet above ground level received flood waters inside.
SR 12 is lined with ruined carpets, furniture, and just plain "junk" removed from homes during the past 2 months. Even today, this "disaster zone" is still in terrible condition. Many grand homes have been undermined, the sand under them having been washed away causing the foundations to collapse. Where front yards once stood, lakes now stand.
My first order of business has been to contact Bonnie at VACATION TRADITIONS, the caretaker of Karen's home, which is rented out when not in use by Karen's family.
Bonnie and I met and together with Bonnie's friend, Gloria (photos later) chatted for nearly 2 hours. We will have lots more to say to / about Bonnie and Gloria. In fact, Gloria rounded up a FEMA Disaster Kit for my use to clean up around Karen's home...the driveway and property is littered with refuse and mud...the first floor of the home, lying just under 5 feet high, has been flooded and must be completely emptied and rebuilt.
I have taken it upon myself to do all I can - with Karen's consent yet to be obtained - to help clean things up while SPIA and I enjoy her hospitality.
A Ocean Side Beach Home.
For the following photographs, I am standing on Highway SR 12 as it passes through RODANTHE.
An Ocean Side Home.
SR 12 looking North East. The home used in the Movie "A Night In RODANTHE" used to sit at the far end of the above Ocean Side Homes.
The "Movie Home" has since been physically moved to a new location about 1/2 block from Karen's home. I am told it is available for rent at $5,000.00 per week in high season.
An Ocean Side Beach Home.
Flooded SR 12. The opposite side of SR 12 is behind the camera. What used to be an elegant neighborhood is now a lake with grand homes collapsing after Hurricane IRENE broke through SR 12, allowing the Atlantic Ocean to create a new channel into PAMELCO SOUND, taking the sandy foundations of many homes with it.
The breach has been repaired. The foundation-less homes stand skewed and tipping towards an unkind fate.
This neighborhood of RODANTHE is known as MIRLO BEACH, which has received terrible devastation .
How MIRLO BEACH received it's name.
The repaired section of SR 12, including a new pile of sand to hold back the Atlantic Ocean. At this point, the entire HATTERAS ISLAND is about two city blocks wide...all sand.
Brian has just emptied his Dump Truck load of roofing damaged by Hurricane IRENE.
Please say HELLO to Brian.
Brian is a building contractor, helping with an Ocean Front damaged home. Brian tells me that there is no Refuse Center on HATTERAS ISLAND. FEMA is in charge of recovery efforts and has directed that all refuse be dumped along SR 12. The County then picks up the piles of refuse for disposal...with FEMA footing the bill.
There is a KOA RV park nearby. As we drove to Karen's yesterday, we passed that RV Park. It appears to be near total devastation. Tomorrow, I will walk South on SR 12 and take a look.
The local Grocery Store and business center. All the businesses to the right are closed, having been flooded. The grocery store stands high enough that the flood waters stopped a couple inches short of coming in the front door.
Uncle SAM filled my Debit Card today (thank you). I bought two loves of bread from the Grocery Store together with a 1/2 pound each of sliced ham and turkey...YUM.
We end today's blog with this photograph of two elegant homes appearing to having avoided damage from IRENE.
Conversations today suggested there may be a need for assistance in "cleaning up" storm damage in RODANTHE. If that is so, I may have discovered my "home" for the next three months. I am a "Workaholic", as my good friends Les and Paul can attest. I have offered my services in exchange for a place for SPIA and I to park - with electricity. It would be my pleasure to help these folks who have lost so much...
We shall see