• Cape Lookout Lighthouse from Barden Inlet

    Cape Lookout

    National Seashore North Carolina

Hurricane Irene Recovery Update: North Core Banks Opens to Vehicle Use on Wednesday, November 2

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Date: November 1, 2011
Contact: Wouter Ketel, 252-728-2250 ext. 3005

Harkers Island, NC - Superintendent Pat Kenney is pleased to announce that North Core Banks (Portsmouth Island) will reopen to vehicle use and the vehicle ferry service will resume operation at 7:00 AM on Wednesday, November 2. Visitors needing transport to North Core Banks should contact Morris Marina at 252-225-4261 or 1-877-956-6568.

Due to significant infrastructure damage sustained from Hurricane Irene, the cabins at Long Point will not reopen this season and overnight visitors should be prepared to camp on the island beaches, either in tents or in self-contained camping vehicles. Since repair work on the cabin camp is on-going, the cabin area will be closed to all visitor entry, with the exception of the routes from the beach to the ferry landing and sanitary dump station, and the route from the beach directly to the long-term parking lot and the bathhouse.

The following services will be available at Long Point: the long-term parking lot, a fish-cleaning station, potable water, a sanitary dump station, and the bathhouse and bathrooms.

Please Note: The camp office will be closed. Gasoline, diesel and ice will not be available for sale at the camp. Until further notice, sales of ice and fuel may be arranged through the Morris Marina Ferry operator.

Returning visitors to North Core Banks beaches are cautioned to be extra careful since theisland was subject to a tremendous amount of erosion and overwash from Hurricane Irene and there are still numerous hazards (such as old rusted-out vehicles, and pilings) partly buried in the sand. Visitors should also be very mindful of the signs designating where vehicles may operate; although it may appear that there is a great deal more beach accessible for driving (especially where the storm flattened the dunes) routes have been marked so as to allow for dune regrowth and to keep vehicles on specific routes on the beach, backroad and designated crossover ramps.

To keep posted with ongoing progress, please check the park website at www.nps.gov/calo and Twitter at twitter.com/CapeLookoutNPS.

Background:

Hurricane Irene, a very large 250 mile wide Category 1 hurricane, passed directly over the region on August 26- 27, 2011, and significantly overwashed the entire seashore. The storm and overwash caused the greatest physical damage at the Long Point camp, eroding about 50 feet of beach, causing damage to cabins, cabin infrastructure and filling in the ferry landing with about 100 feet of sand.

Did You Know?

Aerial view of Cape Lookout and Shackleford Banks

Barrier islands, such as those of Cape Lookout National Seashore, are piles of sand. As storms come up from the ocean the beaches are constantly rearranged.