A Mostly Good 2016 Year in Review

2017-a mostly good year.
2016-a mostly good year.

2016 was certainly an interesting year. Most of it was really positive and and there is not doubt the Outer Banks is still the best place anywhere for a family vacation.

Some of the headlines, though, were not as pleasant as others, and a lot of those unpleasant headlines were all about the weather.

From cold-stunned turtles in January to the surprise visit from a powerful Hurricane Matthew, the weather was in the headlines on the Outer Banks.

Still, it was a good year on the Outer Bank. Here are some of the highlights…and yes, the lowlights of the weather.

Replacement for Bonner Bridge Breaks Ground
Ground breaking for the Bonner Bridge.
Ground breaking for the Bonner Bridge.

Long overdue, but at long last the replacement span for the Bonner Bridge is finally moving forward. Here’s what we wrote:

“Three years from now and a few hundred million dollars later, a replacement span for the Bonner Bridge over Oregon Inlet will finally be in place. Today marked the official beginning of the process as politicians came from Raleigh and Washington, DC to celebrate the groundbreaking of the new bridge.”

100th Anniversary of the National Park Service-New Citizens Welcomed
Receiving the certificate of citizenship.
Receiving the certificate of citizenship.

With such a large presence on the Outer Banks, the centennial of the National Park Service was important. There were a number of special events in conjunction with the celebration, none more compelling than a swearing in ceremony for new citizens.

“Thirty-nine new citizens were welcomed to the Outer Banks yesterday at a swearing in ceremony at the Wright Brothers Memorial.

It was an amazing event—emotional, awe-inspiring and perhaps a little bit intimidating with the realization of what these newest Americans coming from 23 countries have gone through to follow their dream.”

Roanoke Island Aquarium Gets a Facelift
Extensive renovations at the Roanoke Island Aquarium have left the otter exhibit alone.
Extensive renovations at the Roanoke Island Aquarium have left the otter exhibit alone.

Delayed a year to get the budget for renovations in shape, the payoff was a spectacular result.

“After a false start and a couple of construction delays, the renovation of the Roanoke Island Aquarium–the Outer Banks only aquarium–is almost complete. It’s open now and even though a couple of the exhibits aren’t quite ready yet, what there is a really exciting.”

The Weather

The weather for 2016 can easily summed up. When it was good it was very good. When it was bad, it was very bad

Cold Stunned Turtles Early January

loggerhead turtle
Cold Stunned Loggerhead at Roanoke Island STAR Center

“The STAR Center at the Roanoke Island Aquarium was designed as a care facility for injured and sick sea turtles, but never anything on this level. The problem, according to Christine Legner who oversees the facility, with all the warm weather, the turtles “ . . . just didn’t get the cue to leave.”

Tropical Storm Hermine

“It looks as though we have another day of high surf battering the Outer Banks as Tropical Storm Hermine spins away out in the Atlantic. All sign point to her meandering a bit and then moving out to sea, but it does look as though tomorrow, Monday, is not going to be a good beach day.”

Hurricane Matthew

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.

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