The southernmost villages of Hatteras Island are now open to visitors for the first time since Hurricane Irene made landfall in North Carolina almost three weeks ago.
Dare County officials are opening the villages of Avon, Buxton, Frisco and Hatteras to visitors beginning with the 7 a.m. ferry on Thursday. The villages of Rodanthe, Waves and Salvo will not be open to visitors until sometime after Sept. 29.
The four southernmost villages are accessible only via ferry service from Swan Quarter or Cedar Island to Ocracoke Island. From Ocracoke, visitors can take a ferry to Hatteras Island.
Visitors won't be allowed on the emergency ferry route from Stumpy Point to Rodanthe.
The ferries from Swan Quarter and Cedar Island require a reservation. A fee is charged.