Hatteras Business Still Slow After Irene

Sep 28, 2011

Small businesses on Hatteras Island are struggling to turn a profit a month after Hurricane Irene swept across the Outer Banks. That's despite a decision from the Department of Transportation earlier this month to restart ferry service for both visitors and residents. Keith Andre owns a construction business in Frisco. He says building centers that usually provide his equipment are nearly empty.

Keith Andre: "They've been bringing supplies in a little bit at a time, but it's been hard because they never know if their building materials are going to get on the ferry. And those guys that are bringing materials over, they don't want to sit in a 10-hour ferry line waiting to get over, so a lot of them are rejecting any orders."
The ferries from Swan Quarter and Cedar Island require a reservation and carry a fee. Andre says he lost about two weeks' worth of business after the storm. He has a steady stream of construction requests again. But he says he's providing free or reduced-price services because many residents have not yet received funds from FEMA or their insurance companies.