By Rob Morris on January 1, 2012Causing flooding unseen in more than 70 years and cutting new inlets across Hatteras Island, Hurricane Irene led readership by far over all other stories covered by The Outer Banks Voice in 2011.
The highest viewed story, with 33,000, appeared Aug. 27 and described the extent of flooding and other damage caused by the storm.
Overall storm coverage, which included followup stories on repairs to N.C. 12 on Hatteras Island and construction of a temporary bridge across a new inlet in the Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge, drew in excess of 235,000 views.In March, a more upbeat story captured readers’ attention, in part through sharing among Facebook friends. More than 24,000 views were logged for the story of a state-record 805-pound tuna caught by Corey Shultz of Waverly Va. aboard the Sea Breeze out of Oregon Inlet Fishing center.
The April tornado that skipped across lower Currituck and through part of Duck was next among stories that attracted readers.
Tragedy at the intersection of U.S. 158 and Colington Road drew considerable attention. The arrest of a man charged with three felonies related to the death of another motorist was highly viewed. The accident happened after a traffic signal malfunctioned and defaulted to flashing mode.
Readers tended to gravitate to stories on traffic accidents and crime, which strike closer to home in the small local Outer Banks community.
On the light side, a flap over some of the merchandise at the OBX Romance Store drew plenty of attention. The town of Kitty Hawk said some of the wares should not have been displayed where children could see them.
Not at the top of the list but still generating thousands of views were a number of other stories.
They included beach nourishment in Nags head, the first project of its kind on the northern beaches; the 11th-hour deal to keep Colony Ridge nursing facility open; the opening of Jennette’s Pier; the Pains Bay Fire in the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge; and massive striped bass kills during the winter trawling season.