I fell in love with surfing in the Outer Banks. When I wasn’t tossing pizzas or washing dishes or scrounging for tips waiting tables at Lisa’s Pizzeria in Rodanthe (best chicken cutlet in America…add extra Italian dressing), I spent every available moment of summer during my childhood scouring the coast from Kill Devil Hills to Frisco hunting for peaks. Between waiting out seemingly endless stretches of southwest wind and pancake flat ocean, perfecting my s’mores technique at beach bonfires, batten down the hatches when ‘Noreasters and hurricanes smashed our delicate sliver of island, and feeling humbled when houses in our neighborhood literally disappeared into the ocean, time spent in the Outer Banks brought me as close as I can to fully appreciating nature’s schizophrenic beauty and rage.
And Hurricane Matthew delivered an unexpectedly angry torrent of floods to the Outer Banks – bringing with it 91 MPH gusts, $1.5 billion dollars in flood damage, and 26 deaths across the state. Devastation ensued. As it does in this vulnerable slice of coast.