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Climate change highlights challenges to the future of the Outer Banks' barrier islands

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Climate change impacts NC Outer Banks infrastructure

Gareth McGrath

USA TODAY NETWORK

  • A roughly 2-mile-long bridge is scheduled to open in the coming weeks to replace a troublesome stretch of roadway.
  • The North Carolina DOT has struggled for years to keep the road, due to long-term erosion.
  • Oceanfront homes have been deemed unsafe for human habitation.

WILMINGTON, N.C. – Near the narrow northern tip of Hatteras Island in North Carolina, two structures — one rising, one falling — showcase the challenges of living on a fragile barrier island system that’s facing growing uncertainties from a changing climate. 

The first is a nearly $145-million, roughly 2-mile-long bridge scheduled to open in the coming weeks that will swing N.C. 12, a primary highway, out over Pamlico Sound lagoon and replace a troublesome stretch of roadway. The North Carolina Department of Transportation (DOT) has struggled for years to keep the road, which long-term erosion has pushed hard up against the often angry Atlantic, open even during relatively minor high tide events. 

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Razzies royally torch 'Diana' musical and 'Space Jam 2,' show love to Oscar favorite Will Smith

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As more marijuana dispensaries get targeted by robbers, SAFE Banking Act lingers in Congress

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Weed dispensaries targeted by robbers: Will SAFE Banking Act help?

A bill that could allow electronic transactions at weed dispensaries nationwide is again make its way through Congress but the SAFE Banking Act might not be the cure-all that supporters envision.

In over a decade of operating cannabis shops in Washington, Shea Hynes never once worried about his stores getting robbed at gun point – until recently: In a span of three weeks, his stores were robbed three different times at gun point.

Reports of armed robberies at cannabis dispensaries like Hynes’ have nearly doubled in the first quarter of this year compared with all of last year, according to data maintained by the Craft Cannabis Coalition. The group, which represents more than 50 stores in Washington, has recorded more than 65 armed robberies so far this year, compared with 35 in 2021 and 29 in 2020. 

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Takeaways from Friday's Sweet 16: North Carolina looks like national title contender

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