Dear Fellow Islanders,
Finally, we are in sight of an end to our State of Emergency. Almost all wynds, trails and roads are passable, with the exception of a few deep pools in Cape Fear Station, Stede Bonnet and Edward Teach. However, there are several areas that are not golf cart safe, but are passable by truck.
The island is still predominantly without electrical power, water and sewer. There are approximately 96 homes where the sewage grinder pumps are under water (CLICK HERE to see the list by address), and quite a few Duke Energy transformers are compromised by water or sand.
With a little luck, we will be able to attempt to power up the island in the next few days. When this is attempted, we must travel through the entire island looking for failures that may include dangerous arcing and fires.
Obviously, the fewer people on the island at that time the better, especially with so much standing water.
When successful, water and sewer will be available to all homes, with the exception of the 96 with grinder pumps under water that will remain uninhabitable. At such time, we will lift the State of Emergency, coordinate with BHI Transportation to resume regular ferry and barge operations and welcome back all property owners and supporting entities.
It's hard to put into words how proud I am of our entire Village staff. For more than two weeks, the various departments have worked seamlessly together under extreme difficulties and ever changing challenges. I am also grateful to all the local workers and businesses that have been invaluable in helping us during this recovery. I hesitate to name just one outstanding contribution, but I must state that, without the dedication and experience of Island Contracting, we would be days if not weeks behind where we currently are in removing flood waters from our island.
However, there is still much to be done and patience with purpose will be required. In my experience, debris removal, both vegetative and C&D (construction and demolition) appear painfully slow. This is largely due to the need to strictly follow FEMA rules, which requires voluminous documentation, with reimbursement months away.
When it's safe for you to return, I encourage you to look beyond the flood waters and felled trees; all of which will pass. I am confident that what you will see is the Bald Head Island that we love.
Mayor Andy Sayre