Travel to the south by car is tougher. Several major roads have been flooded, including parts of I-40, I-95, U.S. 70, U.S. 17 and U.S. 421. North Carolina Department of Transportation is warning motorists to avoid southeastern and south central North Carolina. The free ReadyNC smartphone app provides updates on weather, traffic conditions, power outages and shelters.
“It’s very positive that it turned into a rain event more so than a wind event,” Mr. Tuttell said, adding that ferries to Okracoke Island, roughly 20 miles off the mainland, will reopen this weekend. “Rain dumps a lot of water but we didn’t get bad beach erosion or the destructive activity that we would have if a Category 4 had hit.”
In South Carolina, I-95 remains closed in both directions near the flooded Great Pee Dee River outside Florence, and beach-bound motorists will find detours.
“The secondary roads that take you to the beach, you might have to take a different route,” said Duane Parrish, the director of the South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism. “The weather is great, we’d love to have you but pack your patience.”
Back on the Outer Banks, tourism is resuming with incentives to lure travelers. The Outer Banks tourism authority, noting “the coast is clear,” has a list of promotions on its website, including 15 percent off hotel rates and free nights at lodging rentals.
“We haven’t had much in the way of cancellations, but we have had soft bookings this week,” Mr. Tuell of the Outer Banks Visitors Bureau said. “We want to help share the word that the Outer Banks are open. What’s good for the Outer Banks is good for the state and its recovery.”
In Duck, N.C., the Sanderling Resort escaped significant damage and reopened on Monday, Sept. 17 after the storm passed. Now, it’s offering a deal in which guests pay for two nights and get the third free. It is encouraging guests to donate a minimum of $5 to hurricane recovery efforts in order to receive 10 percent off rooms rates in September and October and 20 percent in November and December. Proceeds will go to the public safety agencies in the flooded coastal town of Swansboro, N.C.
“The Outer Banks as a whole were very, very blessed and being sensitive to that we want to be good neighbors and work with folks affected now,” said Wendy Murray, the resort’s sales and marketing director.