Raleigh, N.C. — For Dare County officials wrestling with the question of whether to reopen at least part of Irene-damaged Hatteras Island, the answer was obvious: the electricity was running and stores were stocked with supplies. And, most importantly, people needed the work that tourists would bring...
This file combination of two satellite images provided by GeoEye shows, above, an area of Hatteras Island, N.C., which includes a view of Highway 12 through the center of the frame, taken on Sunday, Aug. 28, 2011, after Hurricane Irene hit the Island on Aug. 27, and, below, the same area of Hatteras Island taken on June 12, 2011, before the island was cut off from the mainland after Hurricane Irene tore up several segments of Highway 12. Even some groups dependent on tourism are questioning Dare County?s decision to open part of Irene-damaged Hatteras Island to visitors less than three weeks after the hurricane struck, cutting off the only road access to the island. Both the Dare County Tourism Board and the Outer Banks Chamber of Commerce say it was too early to open the four southernmost villages on Sept. 17 because so few tourists could get to the island via two ferries. (AP Photo/GeoEye, File)
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