Hatteras NC Hurricane Damage

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As North Carolinians dug out Sunday from Hurricane Irene's wind, rains and flood waters, officials surveyed damage that included five breaches of N.C. 12 on the Outer Banks, cutting off Hatteras and Ocracoke from the mainland. Gov. Bev Perdue flew over Eastern North Carolina, making stops from Trenton to Havelock, to assess the impact of a storm that left seven people dead and about 444,000 households without power. Federal officials also spread out over the coastal plain to determine the damage, although it will take several days before FEMA will put a price tag on it, Craig Fugate, chief of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, said Sunday during a conference call. The breach of N.C. 12 could put an early end to the tourist season in the southern Outer Banks. Much work lies ahead as state crews repair bridges and roads, utility crews restore electricity, and residents repair their homes and businesses. On Sunday, more than 1,800 N.C. Department of Transportation employees, almost 400 National Guard soldiers and more than 300 state Highway Patrol troopers were out working. East Carolina University officials canceled classes today on the Greenville campus, citing downed trees and water leaks in buildings. College officials will decide today whether to cancel classes Tuesday. Some of the state's worst flooding happened along the Pamlico and Albemarle sounds, in the state's Inner Banks. Rescue crews fanned out late Saturday and Sunday in search of people trapped by the rising waters. Officials reported more than 200 water rescues in Northampton, Beaufort and Craven counties, and in Pamlico County - where two pregnant women and two infants were saved. Pamlico County, at the mouth of the Neuse River, was hammered by the storm. County Manager Timothy Buck estimated that Irene flooded as much as 30 percent of the homes there. Power was out to most of the county, and residents were advised to boil their water. Communities from New Hanover to Currituck counties were without power. State officials reported that about 444,000 households were still dark Sunday night. Richmond, Va.-based Dominion Power said 1.2 million customers lost power, most of them in Virginia. By Sunday afternoon, about 70,000 Dominion Power customers in North Carolina were still affected. Meanwhile, Progress Energy reported a peak of 280,000 outages, with less than 121,000 still without power at 8 p.m. Sunday. Of those, 1,900 were in Wake County. Among the hardest-hit counties were Wayne, Craven and Carteret, which each had more than 14,000 affected customers. Progress Energy had a crew of 1,000 workers at hand, but they couldn't get out to work until Sunday morning after the storm had passed. Spokesman Scott Sutton predicted several days of blackouts for many of the heavy-hit areas. The lights should be turned on again in 95 percent of the affected homes by midnight Wednesday, a Progress Energy official said. Customers in Zebulon and Selma are among those likely to wait longer. In the northern Outer Banks, the results of soundside flooding could be seen. Marsh grass, mud and other debris was carried about 150 yards inland. Some buildings showed a waterline 4 feet up on the outside. Docks were upside down, and boats littered the shoreline on Kitty Hawk Bay at Kill Devil Hills. In Carteret County, residents started the cleanup Sunday with sunny skies and a sense of determination, ready to peel off the plywood and pick up limbs. A section of the causeway and surrounding businesses were under as much as two feet of water for a time during the storm. Three piers on the island were damaged by the storm: Oceanana, Bogue Inlet and the one at the Sheraton hotel. Read more: [url=https://www.newsobserver.com/2011/08/29/1443829/irene-slices-up-nc-12-cutting.html#ixzz1WPyAeWEe]https://www.newsobserver.com/2011/08/29/1443829/irene-slices-up-nc-12-cutting.html#ixzz1WPyAeWEe[/url]

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