Dennis pounds Carolina coast

BY GEORGE PIPER | Cape Hatteras, NC | September 3, 1999


Teams from groups like the United Methodist Volunteers in Mission are on standby to help with initial

cleanup.

But they can't get through to much of the Outer Banks, though National Guard units have managed to

deliver supplies to some 5,000 stranded people. Cape Hatteras still stands under as much as five feet of

water, and phones are still down throughout much of the Outer Banks.

Highway 12, the only route into the area, may reopen late today, but it will be several weeks before it can

be rebuilt. Then, volunteer teams will be needed to help with debris cleanup and, over a long-term basis,

rebuilding damaged homes.

Thursday the storm was 125 miles southeast of Cape Hatteras, drifting slowly to the south-southwest.

Although emergency officials report that immediate danger is past, and most electricity and water service,

has been restored, a tropical storm warning remains from Cape Lookout, N.C., to the Virginia border.

And as far away as Florida, huge waves are ebbing away beaches and piers.

Forecasters predict Dennis will drift slowly to the west and southwest for the next few days.

Nags Head, Kitty Hawk and Kill Devil Hills are still evacuated as are island and mainland parts of Hyde

County.

"Everybody has a lot of questions, but no answers," said Charlie Moeller, a Church World Service disaster

resources facilitator. Emergency management officials have flown over the banks and reported some structural damage. But without people on the ground, it's different to determine the need.

Salvation Army teams were able reach some of those isolated areas yesterday. John Edwards, public information officer for the organization's North and South Carolina Division, said the plan is to establish a post-impact comfort station in Ocracoke.

This centrally located setup would provide cleaning supplies and some medical assistance and serve as a place for survivors to get information on help available to them.

"While we're quite blessed to come out of this fairly unscathed, we had a lot of erosion in a lot of areas, and that's created a real problem for us" he said. So far, the Salvation Army has served more than 3,500 people in five locations in North and South Carolina.


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