Outer Banks Matthew Recap

Construction on the Beach Road in Kitty Hawk, repairing damage done by Hurricane Matthew.
Construction on the Beach Road in Kitty Hawk, repairing damage done by Hurricane Matthew.

Hurricane Matthew is almost two weeks gone and we’re still dealing with the lingering effects here on the Outer Banks.

Everything is open and there is plenty for our visitors to do, but look around and evidence of its passage is not hard to find.

Large puddles still cover some parking lots and lower lying roads. For our Joe Lamb, Jr. guests hailing from towns and cities away from the coast, it may seem strange. Living on the coast, however, there is an acceptance that we’re at sea level, and there is no place for the water to drain to.

The other part to why the water is still there…it’s actually ground water. The rains fell so hard and so fast and there was so much of it, that the water table rose to the surface. The water table is subsiding, but it is going to take another couple of weeks.

Different areas of the Outer Bank suffered different amounts of damage. Our friends down on Hatteras Island really got hammered, but roads are open and things are just about back to normal.

We had some of the worst flooding we’ve seen on the ocean side in Kill Devil Hills and Nags Head. In Nags Head two of our favorite places on the Beach Road, Seagreen Gallery and Surfin’ Spoon, really took a beating. Seagreen should be reopening soon if they haven’t already—we didn’t get a chance to check this week. Surfin’ Spoon will take longer; they lost some of their equipmen.

Most of the Outer Banks roads came through remarkably well. The glaring exception is the Beach Road in front of the Black Pelican in Kitty Hawk. Just to the north of where the ocean wiped out the road, NCDOT had replaced the road last year and protected the roadbed with giant sandbags. The process is being extended to the new section that was damaged. Construction typically takes about one to two months so expect the road to be reopened sometime around Thanksgiving.

Outer Banks Seafood Festival Delivers

It's all about seafood at the Outer Banks Seafood Festival.
It’s all about seafood at the Outer Banks Seafood Festival.

The 5th Annual Outer Banks Seafood Festival at Nags Head on Saturday was a great reminder about what the Outer Banks is all about. And it feels so good to put Hurricane Matthew in the rearview mirror. There’s still cleanup to do, some damage to assess, but it sure did feel good to have a day in the sun with great food, great music, a fantastic crafts area and lots of people on hand.

What makes it even nicer is the Seafood Festival really is a celebration of the history and culture of the Outer Banks.

A  lot of out of town visitors were on hand and that is great news. As always the folks from Virginia seem to love coming to the Outer Banks, but we also had visitors from all over the United States. A map with a message reading “Tell us where you’re from” showed visitors from Oregon, California and even Utah. Most of the festival goers were, or course, from nearby states, but a surprising number seemed to hail from upstate New York and New England.

There was a very real sense of celebration about this year’s festival. The music was great and people were dancing. Local groups The Crowd and Old Enough to Know Better really seemed to hit a chord (ok, that was a pun) with the crowd and people were up and dancing.

Mathew is still on the minds of Outer Banks residents, and it was good to see the Outer Banks Community Foundation on hand to talk about their relief fund. Everything they take in to their relief fund goes back to the community including the interest they’re charged on credit cards.

It was nice to hear from the Festival organizers that a portion of the proceeds was going to be donated to the OBCF for disaster relief.

Outer Banks Seafood Fest-Expect a Great Time

Outer Banks Seafood Festival this Saturday.
Outer Banks Seafood Festival this Saturday.

The Outer Banks Seafood Festival is coming at just the right time. Gates open at 10:30 on Saturday and the food and entertainment keeps going until six. The setting at the Nags Head Event Site is perfect with Roanoke Sound as a backdrop and helping to create what looks like an ideal day, the forecast is calling for bright sunshine and a high temperature of 70.

And that is the way to put Hurricane Matthew behind us!

There is no doubt that Matthew walloped the Outer Banks. Nothing at all like the reports we’re getting from mainland North Carolina, yet, here it is Thursday and there is still standing water in some roadways and yards.

The first damage estimates have come out and Dare County officials have set a preliminary figure of $42.6 million. Hardest hit area was Hatteras Island, but every area of Dare County experienced some damage. We haven’t heard a damage estimate for the Corolla area yet, but the flooding in Corolla and Carova was significant.

With all of that in our rear view mirror, the Outer Banks Seafood Festival is coming along at just the right time.

If past is any predictor of future, it will be magnificent.

This is the fifth Seafood Festival and the food is always spectacular. Couple that with excellent music from local bands, Mojo Collins and Triple Vision, The Crowd and Old Enough to Know Better and great day is assured. Adding to the mix, the Outer Banks Seafood Festival truly family friendly event.

There is no onsite parking for the Festival. Some people park at the Tanger Outlet Mall about a quarter mile to the south and walk to the event. There is also offsite parking available with shuttle service.

OFF-SITE PARKING LOTS ■ Blue Whalebone Parking Lot

Across from Jennette’s Pier, Nags Head

■ Green Dowdy’s

3100 S. Wrightsville Ave. Nags Head

■ Red Nags Head Town Hall Parking Lot

54100 S. Croatan Hwy., Nags Head

■ Purple Dare Co. Admin Center Lot, Manteo

954 Marshall C. Collins Street, Manteo

■ Gold TowneBank

2808 S. Croatan Hwy, Nags Head

The – AfterMatthew –

A State in disarray but a community united.


Hurricane Matthew was a force to be reckoned with beginning with devastating results in Haiti and working its way through Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina. The effects from this storm will be felt for months. Harsh winds, heavy rains, flash flooding, storm surges and complete destruction were all apart of Mother Nature’s plan. What she didn’t plan for was the strength of our community. 

MP 4.5 infront of Black Pelican, Kitty Hawk NC
MP 4.5 infront of Black Pelican, Kitty Hawk NC

My heart is filled with warmth from the compassion and empathy that has been expressed throughout our entire community. As I look around and see places still without power, homes flooded, trees down and business devastated. I also see helpful hands being extended and friendships being forged. It is during these tough times that we realize we are only as strong as our neighbor. Throughout our entire community I have witnessed an extraordinary amount of compassion & empathy.

From neighbors helping one another clear out debris, to strangers helping push cars out of flood waters. While friends are donating their clothing and furniture to others that have lost theirs, small business owners are offering a free meal to our devoted line-man and first responders.

14516456_10154137236828655_6511698631734710394_n I would like to use this blog post to extended a Thank You out to our OBX community. The compassion, strength, patience and grace that I have witnessed over the last week has truly warmed my heart and restored my faith.

Thank you to the line-men & tree-services that have been working diligently to restore power to our homes and clean up debris in our streets.  Thank you to our County & to all the individual towns for providing such quick information & updates. Thank you to our first responders and to ALL emergency personal that have been out helping and protecting our friends and family.

Thank you to our visitors & our owners for showing great patience and understanding. A HUGE Thank YOU to our staff, fellow peers and outstanding community. We may still be cleaning up after Matthew but the task seems a little less daunting with all of your help and support..

To every member of our community and to our surrounding communities; You are in our thoughts & we value your strength during this trying time.


Hurricane Matthew-An Unwelcome Surprise

Dare Center parking lot flooded. With 8" of torrential rains in less than 24 hours, Outer Banks roads and parking lots experienced unprecedented flooding.
Dare Center parking lot flooded. With 8″ of torrential rains from Hurricane Matthew in less than 24 hours, Outer Banks roads and parking lots experienced unprecedented flooding.

Hurricane Matthew was an unwelcome and unpleasant surprise. We knew it was going to rain a lot; we knew the winds were going to be strong, but the Outer Banks seemed to get more than expected.

Perhaps most surprising is that the forecast track of Matthew changed at the last moment. From Wednesday through Saturday morning, the National Hurricane Center was predicting the storm would curve out to sea south of the Outer Banks, head south and then curl back toward Florida losing strength as it did so.

On Saturday the forecast abruptly changed to an ENE track and instead of losing strength, Matthew became an extratropical storm and maintained it’s hurricane force winds.

We’re still not sure what the official winds were, but there are some reports clocking wind speeds between 65-70 mph—and there were certainly stronger gusts than that.

With 8” of rain falling in 24 hours, there is flooding and a lot of standing water on roadways. The Beach Road especially seems hard hit and sections of downtown Manteo were flooded this morning. NCDOT is also reporting that sections of NC12 in Corolla are flooded.

Hoping to keep people off unsafe roads and give county officials a chance to start assessing damage, Dare County issued a 7:00 p.m. curfew tonight. The curfew will be lifted at 7:00 a.m. tomorrow morning. Access to the county is also restricted to residents and property owners. Corolla residents and property owners will also be allowed access.

There is no access to Hatteras Island right now. This afternoon, National Park Service Rangers were turning traffic back at the intersection of Old Oregon Inlet Road and NC12.

We’re still looking over damage in general. For the most part, the Outer Banks seems to have come through the storm pretty well, although a final tally has not been added up yet.  There are some downed trees, some flooding, and some roofs were damaged by the wind. If, however, that is the extent of the damage, the Outer Banks has fared better than our neighbors to the south.

OBX Matthew News-This Weekend and Beyond

Hurricane Matthew should be long gone by next weekend when the Outer Banks Seafood Festival takes center stage.
Hurricane Matthew should be long gone by next weekend when the Outer Banks Seafood Festival takes center stage.

Even though it looks as though Hurricane Matthew is going to pass well to the south of the Outer Banks as it heads out to sea, we’re still feeling some of the effects of the storm. Nothing at all like Florida is experiencing—and Georgia and South Carolina after that, and we really hope coastal residents in those areas are staying safe and out of the way of the wind and surging seas.

One of the characteristics of tropical systems is they pump a lot of moisture into the atmosphere. That moisture is coming down locally in the form of rain and a lot of it…6-8” on Saturday into Sunday.

That rain—and it’s going to be windy too—means two of the best music festivals around had to be canceled. The Mustang Music Festival and the 10th Annual Duck Jazz Festival will not be happening this year.

A piece of good news: The 24th Annual Parade of Homes is going forward, and talking to some of the builders today, it looks as though the turn out was pretty good.

The ocean is certainly stirred up right now, and there has been some overwash; the Beach Road around the Black Pelican is closed and NCDOT crews are working to hold the ocean back, piling sand on the dune line as quickly as they can.

If this weekend seems too wet, think about visiting us next Saturday for the Outer Banks Seafood Festival. The early read is the weather looks great.

For some great information about local effects of Hurricane Matthew, check out the National Weather Service briefing: http://www.weather.gov/media/mhx/LatestBriefing.pdf

Hurricane Matthew – OBX


We continue to monitor the progress of Hurricane Matthew as it moves through the Bahamas on its northward track. Through last night and this morning, Hurricane forecast models have changed significantly and now project Matthew to take a turn to the east and away from the East Coast through Saturday and Sunday. If this track holds we expect impacts to our area to be less than previously anticipated. Likely issues at this point appear to include larger than normal surf conditions, wind and rain. Please continue to monitor the Weather Channel, TV news broadcasts, radio and our website: www.joelambjr.com and our Facebook page for future updates.

Please Follow the progress & updates here: Dare County Emergency Managment  , ReadyNC  &  Current Advisories



Outer Banks Sites for Soundside Fishing

Whalehed Club boat basin. A great place to take kids fishing.
Whalehed Club boat basin. A great place to take kids fishing.

Fall is fishing time on the Outer Banks. The surf and pier fishing has really picked up, there’s lots and lots of tournaments scheduled for the season and offshore has been reporting a banner year.

Not everyone, though, is wants to fish the ocean, so we checked with some local fisherman about some great locations to fish on the sounds.


A protected spot, and there are some surprises here. Flounder have been caught in the basin—surprising because the water there is mostly fresh. Also look for big mouth bass. A great location for kids.

Little Bridge, Manteo Causeway

One of the most popular places around. There’s usually something biting. Rumor has it a great trout hole lives on the south side.

Roanoke Island, South of Washington Baum Bridge Boat Ramp

At the end of the Ramp there’s a dock built by NC Marine Fisheries and locals swear by it. Rock fish seem to really like the waters there, and spot are very common.

If crossing the Washington Baum Bridge, turn left at the light at Pirates Cove.

South Side of Oregon Inlet

A great place to take kids and it’s almost ocean fishing. Just on the south side of the Bonner Bridge, there’s parking with an easy trail that leads to a shallow lagoon or small bay. The bay is very sheltered and is a great place for kids to learn how to fish.

OBX October Events Fill the Month


October is suddenly upon us and there is so much to do that we can’t even list it all. We’ve gone through the Event Calendars for the month and featured what we think are some of the best Outer Banks events, but check around, we may have missed some.

There is so much to do this October that it’s difficult to make any recommendations, but a few highlights do stand out.

Columbus Day Weekend may be the musical highlight of the Outer Banks year—there’s the Mustang Music Festival, the 10th Annual Duck Jazz Festival and Shana Tucker will be at First Flight High School courtesy of the Outer Banks Forum for the Lively Arts.

One of the best seafood festivals around has got to be the Outer Banks Seafood Festival October 15 at the Outer Banks Event Site in Nags Head.

Speaking of seafood festivals, a new one just showed up this year. Oystoberfest at Southern Shores Crossing looks to be a blast. Organized by Dan Lewis and the folks at Coastal Provisions, it should be a lot like their annual Chowder Cookoff—which means a lot of fun and some great oysters.


Island Farm’s Pumpkin Patch

Island Farm, Roanoke Island

October 1, 8, 15, 22, 29

Includes an ox-drawn wagon ride to the farm’s pumpkin patch. Activities include make your own corn husk doll, candle making, children’s 19th-century toys and games, stuff a scarecrow, scarecrow photo booth for taking photos, and interacting with the farms animals.

Jim Mulford Memorial Red Drum Tournament

Jennette’s Pier

October 1

Open to all ages, costs $15 adults; $8 children 12 and under. Door prizes, giveaways and awards for winners. Register online today or sign-up the morning of the event.

Nags Head Elementary School’s Great Pumpkin Fair And Fun Run

Nags Head Elementary School

October 1

Hundreds of pumpkins and fall decorating items including mums, gourds and corn stalks. Games and activities for kids. Stay for lunch with food from Mulligan’s and Tubb’s Hot Dogs plus treats from Island Snowball and a bake sale.

Outer Banks Parade Of Homes

Nags Head to Corolla

October 6- 9

From dream homes to vacations getaways, the finest Outer Banks builders.

2nd Annual “Inshore Slam” Fishing Tournament

Manteo Waterfront

October 7-8

Tournament will be held on the Manteo waterfront, with docking available, at the Maritime Museum.

Mustang Music Festival

Whalehead Club, Corolla

October 7-8

One of the finest music festivals around. Proceeds benefit the Corolla Wild Horse Fund.

Shana Tucker

First Flight High School, Kill Devil Hills

October 8

Relish the stunning sounds of this award-winning singer-songwriter and cellist who credits her genre-bending ChamberSoul journey to the influences of her jazz and classical roots, interwoven with 80s and 90s pop music movie tracks and world music. Outer Banks Forum for the Lively Arts.

Live Jam At The Blue Point

Town of Duck

October 8

Enjoy live jazz along the sound, and catch festival musicians participating in an informal jam at the Blue Point.

Oink N’ Oyster Roast

Longboards Restaurant, Kitty Hawk

October 8

Fresh oysters, homemade BBQ, crabs. There’s beer, tea (sweet and not), and water. All included in your ticket! Music from the First Flight High School Band!  Tickets may be purchased from any First Flight Rotary Club member or First Flight High School Band member or online. $25

Saturday Evening Community Concert On The Green With Frank Vignola

Town of Duck

October 8

Join us for a new event on the Duck Town Green, on Saturday evening as we kick-off the 10th Annual Duck Jazz Festival.


10th Annual Duck Jazz Festival

Town of Duck

October 9

Free live music from azz performers at day-long festival. Attendees are welcome to bring chairs, food, coolers, blankets, and pets.

Outer Banks Seafood Festival

Outer Banks Event Site, Nags Head

October 15

Festival offers opportunities to meet watermen and see the tools of their trade. Cooking demonstrations, educational booths and, best of all, the chance to eat fresh, local seafood from more than a dozen restaurants.

31st Annual Outer Banks Stunt Kite Competition

Sounside Event Site, Nags Head

October 22-23

A regional event that showcases world-class stunt kiting skills. OBSKC will be sharing the stage with the OBX Brewtag in 2016.

Dare County Arts Council’s Emerald Elegance Gala

Pirate’s Cove Pavilion, Manteo

October 22

The Emerald Elegance Gala will feature exquisite cuisine by Black Pelican Catering, spectacular décor designed by Holiday House, cocktails, a silent auction full of art and exclusive packages from local businesses and a wine lottery that will entice wine connoisseurs of all tastes. Sponsored by the DCAC.


Outer Banks Brewtäg

The Soundside Event Site, Nags Head

October 22

Brewtäg contestants will be competing to see who can launch and fly an empty 1/6 keg barrel the furthest.

Harvest HayDay

Elizabethan Gardens, Manteo

October 29

Event combines all the colors, flavors and fun of fall. Whether it is the hayride or hale bale maze, we have families that look forward to this event all year.

Oystoberfest 2016

Southern Shores Shopping Center, Southern Shores

October 29

Local and regional oyster farmers will be on hand shucking raw oysters for your eating pleasure, along with about a half dozen Outer Banks restaurants offering their individual oyster dish samples. Buy tickets online only. Event also to benefit the North Carolina Coastal Federation.

The Beer Witch Project

The Outer Banks Brewing Station, Kill Devil Hills

October 29

Zombies, witches, ghouls and maybe even a naughty vampire nurse serving your drinks.  Live DJ and admission to a legendary backyard party following the event included.

3rd Annual Outer Banks Halloween Parade of Costumes

Kelly’s Outer Banks Restaurant & Tavern, Nags Head

October 30

Trick or treat stations, surprise guest appearances, celebrity photo ops, live entertainment & much more. An unbelievable collection of prizes for the best costumes.

A Memorable Autumn OBX Weekend

Outer Banks Weekend Features Something for Everyone
Learning to dance at Artrageous 2016.
Learning to dance at Artrageous 2016.

This past weekend on the Outer Banks was a perfect example of why autumn is the time to come to the Outer Banks.

Saturday was filled with lots of events, all of them family friendly. Our Joe Lamb, Jr. minions tried to get to everything, but we’re sure we missed something along the way.

Kids and creativity is what Artrageous is all about.
Kids and creativity is what Artrageous is all about.

If there is a better event for kids anywhere than the Dare County Arts Council’s Artrageous it would be hard to imagine.

The event is all about kids and creativity. Held every year at Rec Park in Kill Devil Hills, kids can try their hand at blacksmithing, get their face painted or create a mural on the side of a building.

Families, definitely put this on in your autumn calendars for next year.

Beautiful setting and perfect weather made Crabdaddy 2016 one to remember.
Beautiful setting and perfect autumn weather made Crabdaddy 2016 one to remember.

Perfect setting, perfect weather, lots of crab and good wine. Throw in some great music and it just doesn’t get much better.

Held at the Cotton Gin the last Saturday of September every year, Crabdaddy is part celebration of the autumn grape harvest and a wonderful celebration of the bounty of local waters—in this case blue crab.

Sanctuary Vineyards is owned by the Wright Family, the same family that owns the Cotton Gin so the setting makes sense.

The wines have shown steady improvement over the years and they are very good now.

Outer Banks Bluegrass Festival
Soggy Mountain Boys headlined Saturday night at the Outer Banks Bluegrass Festival.
Soggy Mountain Boys headlined Saturday night at the Outer Banks Bluegrass Festival.

The outdoor stage at Roanoke Island Festival Park is spectacular the bands were among the best in Bluegrass. By the time things wrapped up on Saturday evening there was no doubt that the 2016 Outer Banks Bluegrass Festival was something special.

It helped that the Soggy Mountain Boys were the final act. Putting a very traditional spin on what bluegrass is all about, some of their sounds would have fit right in 75 or 80 years ago.

Next big weekend is Columbus Day–Mustang Music Festival on Friday and Saturday and the Duck Jazz Festival on Sunday.