Lifeguards back, most bathhouses reopening this weekend on the Outer Banks

Kitty Hawk bathhouse. [Sam Walker photo]

Nearly all of the bathhouses at beach accesses will reopen and lifeguards will be on duty along the Outer Banks this weekend.

Bathhouses normally open in early spring, but remained closed as part of the governor’s Executive Order issued due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

With the state entering Phase Two of easing restrictions on Friday at 5 p.m., most of the facilities on Saturday.

The beach access bathroom facilities are already open for the public in Corolla.

“Public Works has increased the frequency that each facility is being cleaned and disinfected to help limit the spread of COVID-19,” said Currituck County spokesperson Randall Edwards.

The bathhouse and parking lot at the Kitty Hawk public access near Kitty Hawk Road and mile post 4, which is in the final stages of a complete renovation.

Kitty Hawk Public Works director Willie Midgett said that if all goes as planned, construction will be complete this coming week and the bathhouse could be open by next weekend.

Midgett said the parking lot is closed to allow crews to be able to finish the project.

In Kill Devil Hills, the flooring at the Ocean Bay Boulevard Bathhouse is being replaced, with construction slated to be be completed around mid-June.

All access points to the beach at Ocean Bay Boulevard and the rinse-off stations will continue to remain open to the public, but the bathroom facilities will remain closed for at least the duration of the construction project.

Accessible porta-johns have been put in place, and will be routinely cleaned and sanitized by the vendor, according to Rachel Tackett with the Town of Kill Devil Hills.

Construction of permanent restroom facilities at the Prospect Avenue beach access began in January, and the bathhouse is nearing completion.

Water is turned on and portable toilets are in place at other beach accesses in Kill Devil Hills.

Nags Head will be opening all of its bathhouses on Saturday, according to town spokesperson Roberta Thuman.

The bathrooms at the Rodanthe Beach Access and the Old Swimming Hole on Roanoke Island, which are maintained by Dare County, remain closed. Dare County spokesperson Dorothy Hester said they are consulting with the Department of Health and Human Services on when they could reopen.

Cape Hatteras National Seashore opened the following facilities on Friday:

  • Restrooms at the Fort Raleigh Visitor Center, Wright Brothers pavilion, Cape Hatteras beach and sound-side parking areas and visitor centers, but the visitor centers themselves will not be open.
  • Camping, with limited capacity will be available at Cape Hatteras campgrounds; however, campsite reservations and payments will only be available online. Staff will not be available to take payment at the campground and site availability will be limited – campers must use for making campground reservations and payments.
  • Trash services in some locations – everyone is encouraged to “pack it in, pack it out” as trash service will remain limited.

Roving lifeguard patrols in the northern beach towns began earlier this spring. Most lifeguard stands will be staffed starting this weekend from Corolla to Nags Head, and off Coquina Beach, Buxton, Frisco and Ocracoke in Cape Hatteras National Seashore.

This story originally appeared on Read More local stories here.

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