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Time: 8:26:47 AM
It was Oct.1990 that the dredge broke loose and hit the Bonner Bridge. The Weatherman had predicted that Bitch Gale would blow 30-45 knots. Well as Ruddy used to say, it was a weather + plus day; meaning you add the two predicted numbers together and get 75 Knots. The Dredge operators had set anchors for 45 knots but obviously that wasn't enough for what happened. I was on South Core catching Red Drum at what was then New Drum Inlet. I had friends on Hatteras who had gone there to fish. Not only did it close the bridge but it took out the phones and power lines so everyone who was not a resident was ordered to leave. The problem now was that the only way off Hatteras Island was to take the state ferries either to Cedar Island or to Swanquarter. The line of vehicles to get on the ferry in Ocracoke went from one end of the island to the other before it was all over.
My fishing buddies later told me that it turned into one 13-mile-long party. Imagine you now have over 500 fishermen stuck for days in a line of traffic that's barely moving, they had come to fish and have a good time and they still had food and drink with them. So, I heard stories of folks walking miles to get groceries and to go to the ABC store in Ocracoke to replenish supplies. No need to worry about drinking and driving cause once they would get on the ferry, they would have a 2 1/2 hour ride to sober up.
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