Family Furniture

The only significant structural damage reported in the western mainland towns Friday was this roof at Family Furniture in Cedar Point. (Brad Rich photo)

Editor's note: This article was last updated Sept. 7 at 3:28 p.m.

CEDAR POINT — The four mainland western Carteret County towns were quiet Friday morning, almost like ghost towns, with empty streets and nearly all businesses closed.

By a little after noon, though, after Hurricane Dorian curfews lifted, traffic started picking up, and there was one glaring issue: non-functioning traffic lights.

Because of power outages in Cedar Point and Cape Carteret, the traffic lights at the major intersection of highways 24 and 58, were not working. Emerald Isle lifted its curfew and reopened the bridge leading from the intersection at noon.

Motorists inched into the intersection, wondering who should yield to whom, before darting through. There was no N.C. Highway Patrol personnel deployed to direct traffic.

“I’m kind of surprised about that,” said Cape Carteret Town Manager Zach Steffey, who was outside town hall cooking chicken on a grill for town police officers, who had worked all night.

Town hall was closed, and it and the police department were still boarded up.

“It’s kind of every man for himself out there,” Cape Carteret Mayor Dave Fowler noted.

By late Friday, however, Cedar Point had power, most of Cape Carteret did and the traffic lights were working.

Other than temporary power outages, Hurricane Dorian left few problems behind after it exited the area Friday morning.

In Cedar Point, Mayor Scott Hatsell said the curfew enacted Thursday night had been lifted at 10 a.m. Friday and although power was out in the morning, things were slowly returning to normal.

“I’ve been out all around town and I haven’t seen anything,” he said. The exception was roof damage at Family Furniture on the south side of Highway 24 in the central part of town.

Otherwise, the mayor said, “There are some minor tree limbs down, nothing big that I’ve seen. There wasn’t any flooding that I’ve seen or heard about.

“There’s really nothing exciting to say,” he continued, “and that’s a good thing.”

In Cape Carteret, Mayor Fowler echoed those comments about damage, but said he knew the Carteret-Craven Electrical Cooperative substation in town experienced problems, because Mr. Steffey was out with Police Chief Bill McKinney and saw sparks five minutes before the power went off at 4:25 a.m. Friday.

Mayor Fowler, whose town was devastated by flooding and fallen trees during Hurricane Florence in September 2018, said he knew of no downed trees this time around. He’d been told of a bit of flooding from Bogue Sound at the end of Neptune Drive. He didn’t know of any flood damage.

“There’s a lot of pine tree debris (from the wind) in the streets, but that’s not unusual because we have so many pine trees,” he said.

“I’m very pleased so far. But we’re still in observation mode and we might not know everything yet,” he concluded.

Like Mayor Hatsell in Cedar Point, he said it’s difficult to know whether any individual homes in neighborhoods off Highway 24 might have suffered wind or water damage.

The town’s curfew was lifted at 10 a.m. and both mayors urged caution on the roadways.

Farther west in Peletier, out Highway 58 toward Jones County, Mayor Dale Sowers said he’d already driven every street and he’d seen no damage other than downed tree limbs.

“We sure did get lucky,” he said.

The town also lifted its dusk-to-dawn curfew.

In Bogue, adjacent to Cape Carteret on Highway 24, Mayor Ricky Taylor agreed everyone had been lucky during the storm, which many thought would cause widespread damage.

Mayor Taylor said he’d seen no damage, instead, “everything looks good.”

 

Contact Brad Rich at 252-864-1532; email Brad@thenewstimes.com; or follow on Twitter @brichccnt.

Previous report

CEDAR POINT — The four mainland western Carteret County towns were quiet Friday morning, almost like ghost towns, with empty streets and almost all businesses closed.

By noon, though, after Hurricane Dorian curfews lifted, traffic started picking up, and there was one glaring issue: Because of power outages in Cedar Point and Cape Carteret, the traffic lights at the major intersection of Highway 24 and Highway 58, the latter of which leads to Emerald Isle on Bogue Banks, were not working. And Emerald Isle had lifted its curfew and reopened the bridge to town at noon.

Motorists inched into the intersection, wondering who should yield to whom, before darting through. Left turns in any direction were especially daunting. There was no Highway Patrol to direct traffic.

“I’m kind of surprised about that,” said Cape Carteret Town Administrator Zach Steffey, who was outside the town hall, cooking chicken on a grill for town police officers, who had worked all night.

Town hall was closed, and it and the police department were still boarded up.

Cape Carteret Mayor Dave Fowler put the traffic situation this way: “It’s kind of every man for himself out there.”

Otherwise, Hurricane Dorian left very few problems behind after it exited the area Friday morning.

In Cedar Point, Mayor Scott Hatsell said the curfew enacted Thursday night had been lifted at 10 a.m., and although power was out, things were slowly returning to normal, with almost no damage.

 “I’ve been out, all around town, and I haven’t seen anything,” he said.

The exception was roof damage at Family Furniture on the south side of Highway 24 in the central part of town.

Otherwise, the mayor said, “There are some minor tree limbs down, nothing big that I’ve seen. There wasn’t any flooding that I’ve seen or heard about.

“There’s really nothing exciting to say,” he continued, “and that’s a good thing.”

He said he didn’t know when the power would come back on, and urged motorists on the highway to be very cautious, since the traffic lights are not working.

“I don’t really even know why it’s out,” Mayor Hatsell said of the electric service. “There are no lines down anywhere. But the power company (Carteret-Craven Electric Cooperative) knows about it, and I’m sure there on it. I hope it comes back soon.”

In Cape Carteret, Mayor Fowler echoed those comments about damage, but said he knows the electric substation in town experienced problems, because Town Manager Zach Steffey was out with Police Chief Bill McKinney and saw sparks of light five minutes before the power went off at 4:25 a.m. Friday.

“I don’t have any idea when it will be back on, but I guess that’s a good-and-bad thing,” he said of the substation. “It might take a while, but at least there aren’t power lines down all over town. I hope it’s back in a reasonable amount of time.”

As of about 3 p.m. Friday, CCEC said it had restored power to about half of those who lost it during Dorian. According to an online outage map, there were about 9,000 reported outages, down from around 20,000 at the peak of the storm.

Mayor Fowler, whose town was devastated by flooding and fallen trees during Hurricane Florence last September, said he knew of no trees down. He’d been told of only a little bit of flooding, from Bogue Sound at the end of Neptune Drive, but that’s not unusual. He didn’t know of any flood damage.

The mayor said he didn’t know of any trees down.

“There’s a lot of pine tree debris (from the wind) in the streets, but that’s not unusual because we have so many pine trees,” he said.

Basically, he concluded, “I’m very pleased so far. But we’re still in observation mode, and we might not know everything yet.”

Like Mayor Hatsell in Cedar Point, he said it’s difficult to know everything so early, such as whether any individual homes in neighborhoods off Highway 24 might have suffered wind or water damage.

The town’s curfew was lifted at 10 a.m. The mayor, again like Mayor Hatsell, urged motorists to be careful because the traffic lights aren’t working.”

Farther west in Peletier, out Highway 58 toward Jones County, Mayor Dale Sowers said he’d already driven every street, and he’d seen no damage other than a few downed tree limbs.

“We sure did get lucky,” he said.

The town also lifted its dusk-to-dawn curfew.

In Bogue, adjacent to Cape Carteret on Highway 24, Mayor Ricky Taylor agreed everyone had been lucky during the storm, which many had thought would cause widespread damage.

Mayor Taylor said he’d seen no damage: “Everything looks good.”

 

Contact Brad Rich at 252-864-1532; email Brad@thenewstimes.com; or follow on Twitter @brichccnt.

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