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Environment

Irene Aftermath Still Disrupting Ferry Service

The Army Corps of Engineers says it will begin dredging the Hatteras Inlet channel on Saturday, and not a moment too soon for ferry passengers. Service on the Hatteras-Ocracoke route has been suspended several times since the weekend. Lucy Wallace is with the North Carolina Ferry Division.

Lucy Wallace: Because of the Northeast winds over the weekend and the extreme low tide, we have had problems getting through. It's unsafe. We have been being pushed to the shoals, scrubbing the bottom, and we just don't want to have a ferry full of people out there and run aground.

Wallace says the problems are remnants of Hurricane Irene, which piled up sand in the narrow channel. The Corps says the dredging should take about two weeks. Funding will come from emergency funds Congress appropriated in March. The Cedar Island and Swan Quarter ferry routes to Ocracoke are running normally.

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