Residents and visitors who decided to stay on the Bogue Banks, despite the mandatory evacuation and rode out the storm, woke up Friday morning to an unusual sight.
Hundreds of tires belted to an artificial fishing reef miles out at sea covered the beaches.
Officials with the Division of Marine Fisheries say the tires were likely placed out in the ocean in the 70's to sink ships and attract barnacles which help create a habitat for fish.
Angry seas caused by Hurricane Earl are being blamed for unchaining them overnight. The practice was discontinued decades ago.
Crews spent much of the morning loading the tires onto trucks to be hauled away.
The Division of Marine Fisheries says they will have the tires cleaned up by the end of the day Friday.