Some Question Reopening Hatteras To Visitors

Even some groups dependent on tourism are questioning Dare County's decision to open part of Irene-damaged Hatteras Island to visitors.

Hurricane Irene struck less than three weeks ago, cutting off the only road access to the island.

Both the Dare County Tourism Board and the Outer Banks Chamber of Commerce say it was too early to open the four southernmost villages on Sept. 17 because so few tourists could get to the island using two ferries. Tourism board member Scott Leggat says a survey of property managers shows the island was 90 percent booked in September.

But the managers also estimated that the ferries could bring only about 25 percent of the people with reservations.

Dare County manager Bobby Outten says island residents needed the work the tourists would bring.

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