The problems plaguing Oregon Inlet on the Outer Banks were the focus of an emergency meeting in Dare County last night. The waterway has been closed to large boat traffic since Hurricane Sandy and a series of other storms in November made it too shallow to safely pass. Local officials say the annual economic impact of the inlet is nearly seven-hundred-million dollars. Warren Judge is the chairman of the Dare County Board of Commissioners. He says the General Assembly and the area's Congressional delegation are well aware of the problem:
"I remind folks all the time yes we need to work on long term, but we also, part of us has to be working on that daily where's the dredge, we need another million dollars, because if you don't take care of Oregon Inlet in the short term, you don't need to worry about long term solutions because you'll destroy everything we've got and eventually all the business moves away."
A Hurricane Sandy relief bill that passed the House in Washington yesterday contains funding for North Carolina that would help pay for dredging needed to re-open the inlet. The Senate is expected to pass the bill as well.