OBX Today’s top stories of 2021: Gas lines, manatee visits, record setting house price

Lines at the Exxon at N.C. 12 and Ocean Bay Blvd in Kill Devil Hills on Friday, May 14, 2021. [Courtesy Kill Devil Hills police]

Big fish, a big fire, a big storm, tragic accidents and new records were among the top stories of 2021 on the Outer Banks. As the year comes to an end, we’re looking back at the top news items and features we’ve run at OBXToday.com.

Today, we continue looking back at some of this year’s most read stories:

Panic buying causes long lines, rising prices at gas stations across the Outer Banks

A long line to get into the Corolla Wee Winks on Tuesday, May 11, 2021. [Screenshot from video by Bruce Bradley]

There were long lines and rising prices at gas stations around the Outer Banks and eastern North Carolina in early May as panic set in over the temporary shutdown of the Colonial Pipeline, which supplies much of the fuel for the East Coast.

Manatees: more rare appearances, first live stranding in N.C. documented

Photo by Bethanie Sprague, shared on Outer Banks Fishing Pier’s Facebook page.

Usually associated with Florida and its warmer waters, sightings of manatees have become a more regular occurrence on the Outer Banks in the last few years. One was spotted off the end of the Outer Banks Pier in South Nags Head in August. Sadly, a manatee died last month in Kill Devil Hills after being the first live-stranding on the North Carolina coast.

Bill Gates-Outer Banks connection in the news

Castle Sween via Seaside Vacations listing

What did billionaire Bill Gates’ divorce have to do with the Outer Banks? Perhaps, early in his marriage to Melinda Gates, there was some foreshadowing. We reported back in May that since 1997, the Microsoft co-founder had an agreement with his wife allowing him to spend one long weekend every year with his ex-girlfriend, venture capitalist Ann Winblad. And they spent their annual getaway at her oceanfront cottage in Corolla.

Outer Banks beach house hits the market for record-setting $11 million

“A Welcome Respite” include 250 feet of
beachfront, breathtaking ocean-to-sound panoramic views, nine bedrooms, and generous indoor and outdoor amenities. [photo courtesy Mattingly/Melanie Day Real Estate]

Melanie Day of Keller Williams Realty Outer Banks announced in July the historic list price of 101 Station One Lane, “A Welcome Respite”, the premier luxury oceanfront estate located on the Currituck Outer Banks. It still remained on the market as of late December.

Hey Ohio! You could’ve asked Outer Banks how that new license plate looked first

O-H…N-O! Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine holding the new license plate, that had a little mistake. [Twitter/@10TV]

🎵Way to go, Ohio.🎵 A new license plate unveiled by Buckeye State Gov. Mike DeWine in October had a little problem. The Wright Brothers plane was flying backwards.