The highway that's the economic lifeline for Hatteras Island is scheduled to reopen by Tuesday, more than a month after Hurricane Irene chewed a new inlet through the road. Business owners are relieved, but some wonder if they can salvage any of the fall season at this point.
Beth Midgette of Midgette Realty says she's pleased to see N.C. Highway 12 reopen for the first time since Hurricane Irene made landfall Aug. 27. State workers are placing a temporary bridge over a new inlet the storm formed north of Rodanthe.
The three northernmost villages have been closed to visitors since the storm. The other four villages reopened Sept. 17 to visitors, but access was limited to ferries.
Restaurant owner Debbie LeMasters says the fall season is basically lost. She and her husband are considering keeping their restaurant open longer than usual to make up for that.