HATTERAS, N.C., OCT. 31 -- Crews worked on the final steps of restoring power today to Hatteras Island, cut off from the mainland when part of its only bridge was smashed, and Army landing craft began ferrying pedestrians.
"We expect to be off the generators by Thursday morning," said Bob Slade, Dare County manager.
Electric Membership Cooperative had three cables across Oregon Inlet by this morning to replace cables broken when gale-force winds drove a dredge through part of the Herbert C. Bonner bridge across the inlet last Friday.
The first runs of the pedestrian ferry using three landing craft carried eight to 10 people across the inlet, Slade said. The military craft also brought emergency supplies, fuel and Department of Transportation equipment.
Power was restored on a rotating basis today at Browning Art Works in Frisco, and owner Linda Browning said her shop and other long-established firms are "going to do fine."
"But those hanging by a thread and those that got a lot of tide from the northeaster, they're coping with a lot of things all at once," she said.
Among those with problems from the storm itself is Daniel Willis, owner of Willis Boat Landing. The storm washed seven inches of water into his store. He said water damage and business losses from the bridge cut could total as much as $100,000.
Survey teams from the state Division of Emergency Management interviewed business operators in preparation for the area's application for a Small Business Administration loan.
Work to establish emergency ferry service has been fast compared to the slow recovery after a snowstorm last December, Browning said.
"This time, grocery stores got supplies immediately, and fuel companies are already here. . . . The first couple of days were real shaky, but after that bottleneck of people trying to leave was cleared up, they started letting supply trucks in," she said.