North Carolina

Cape Lookout closed indefinitely. Hurricane Florence trash has filled the harbor.

Aftermath of Hurricane Florence on Cape Lookout National Seashore, which is closed for repairs, says the National Park Service.
Aftermath of Hurricane Florence on Cape Lookout National Seashore, which is closed for repairs, says the National Park Service.

Cape Lookout National Seashore off the coast of North Carolina remains closed more than a week after Hurricane Florence caused widespread damage in the park, including filling a harbor with trash and sand.

All visitor sites and services remain closed indefinitely until repairs can be made, said the park service website.

“The harbor at Long Point was filled in by Hurricane Florence,” said the National Park Service in a series of Facebook posts. “Ferries will not be able to get in to the dock until repairs are made. At this time there is no date for a possible resumption of ferry operations.”

A NASA satellite is tracking flooding in the Carolinas after Hurricane Florence and its images show that rivers and streams near the coast and spilling dark, discolored water into the ocean.

Ferry company facilities on the mainland side of the island were also damaged, said the park service. “The ferry companies will need to also recover before they can operate,” park officials said on Facebook.

Hurricane Florence made landfall in North Carolina on Sept. 14, bringing storm surge of up to 13 feet and wind gusts of 100 mph to some areas. The impact of the storm continues to be felt on the mainland, where 20 to 35 inches of storm-generated rain have caused widespread flooding in both Carolinas.

The storm’s winds also damaged the Harkers Island Visitor Center, the Cape Lookout Lighthouse and buildings at Cape Lookout’s historic Portsmouth Village, including lost siding, shingles and broken windows, park officials said on Facebook.

The village -- a once thriving port town abandoned in the Civil War -- is now a protected historic and archeological site. It can be reached only by boat, says the National Park Service’s web site.

Tent camping, vehicle camping, beach camping and even cabin rentals have been indefinitely suspended at Cape Lookout, officials on Facebook.

All reservations for Long Point Cabins are canceled for the rest of the season and reservations for Great Island Cabins are canceled until at least November, said park officials.

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“The period of cancellations at Great Island may be extended depending on the results of a full inspection,” said a Cape Lookout Facebook post.

Other parts of the Outer Banks remain inaccessible this week, including Cape Lookout’s Shackleford Banks, where a herd of about 100 wild horses remains unaccounted for, the Foundation for Shackleford Horses told the Charlotte Observer last week.

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Mark Price: 704-358-5245, @markprice_obs
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