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Contact: Wouter Ketel, 252-728-2250 ext. 3005
Harkers Island, NC - Superintendent Pat Kenney reported that while most of the Seashore has opened to visitors within the first month after Hurricane Irene, re-opening North Core Banks to vehicles and repairs to the Long Point cabin area will take more time. Mr. Kenney is pleased to report that the park service has decided to dredge the Long Point ferry basin, that funding for the work has been received, and that vehicle access to North Core Banks could be available in mid-November, barring contracting and weather delays.
Work on the cabins and the infrastructure that supports them, however, is not anticipated to be complete before the end of the season, and the seashore is therefore cancelling all reservations at Long Point for the remainder of the 2011 season.
Since the last update, the following work has been completed: Consultation with agencies for permits for the boat basin and septic systems is nearly complete, the well pump was replaced, generators have been checked, materials have been purchased and transported to the island, and a roofing contractor will begin work in October on major roof repairs. In addition, re-grading of the "back road" has been completed and marking the dune lines and remaining vehicle routes is underway.
"We understand that visitors are anxious to get to the island for the fall fishing season and that the livelihoods of those who rely on business from park visitors is at stake," said Kenney."We are working diligently on getting North Core Banks open to vehicles as soon as possible, with an eye on saving as much of the remaining season as possible."
To keep posted with ongoing progress, please check the park website at www.nps.gov/calo and via Twitter at twitter.com/CapeLookoutNPS.
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.