The Ocracoke Lighthouse came through Hurricane Dorian with some damage, but nothing like the damage to the light keeper’s homes. Flood waters damaged the interior and the building shifted on its foundations.
Cape Hatteras National Seashore and the National Park Service have not yet begun the repairs. Some of that is funding—work on the light keeper’s house in particular, is going to be extraordinarily expensive. But the park service is also concerned about how to make repairs that will minimize the risk of damage to the buildings from sea level rise and changing environmental conditions.
There will be an in-person meeting on Thursday May 6 at the Berkley Barn in Ocracoke at 1:30 p.m. A more likely meeting for most people will be the virtual meeting on Monday, May 10 beginning at 6 p.m. To attend the meeting, click here.
Ocracoke Lighthouse and History
When the lighthouse became operational in 1823, it was an important part of the maritime history of eastern North Carolina, guiding ships through Ocracoke Inlet.
The new lighhouse replaced the Shell Castle Island Lighthouse that had burned down. The Ocracoke channel had shifted and the current lighthouse was the better option for guiding ships through the channel.
The damage that Dorian meted out to the Ocracoke Lighthouse and the out building underscores how significant the change in environmental conditions are.
For generations, when flooding threatened Ocracoke Village, residents would flee to the lighthouse and keeper’s homes to wait out the storm. The building were on what was thought to be some of the highest ground in the village.
That the building were damaged by floodwaters, underscores the concerns of CHNS and how to insure the long term safety of the buildings.
Ocracoke is one of many wonderful day trips from the norther Outer Banks. Make it part of your vacation plans when you stay with Brindley Beach Vacations.