NAGS HEAD, N.C. (WAVY) - One of the terrible losses in Hurricane Irene was the famous Stinson's Ranch in Nags Head. It had commanding views of sunsets, and boldly stood over the Roanoke Sound along Sound Side Road. Sadly, there is nothing left but the pilings on which history stood. It was the Outer Banks' most recognized cottages. It is even on the national register of historic places .
Neighbor Gayle Felton knew the end was near. "The waves were splashing on the back of the house and splashing above the roof."
Debris from the cottage was everywhere. Most of it ended up in Felton's front yard. "This is what's left of somebody's dream home."
There is so much mangled mess you can not tell what anything is except for the American Flag that has been placed on top of the debris heap.
Billy Stinson's family bought the house in the early 60's. Sunday, he got a call from neighbor Chris Hall. "I have been emotional about this. I had to tell them it was gone. What did he say? He didn't say much," recounted Hall. Stinson was at his home in Greenville, NC when Irene took away what was his. He tried to make his way back Sunday. "I'm stuck at the Wright Memorial Bridge. I'm trying to get there to see what has happened," he told WAVY.com.
Down the road, dozens of jet skis are littered along highway 158. The storm surge lifted and took everything in its path.
Irene also took aim at Miller's Waterfront Restaurant. Owner Brian Wilson said, "We can't wrap our arms around this, not at all. We thought we were fine, and we've been through plenty of hurricanes."
Not like this one. Not like Irene. "It's ended our season, so we need to rebuild right now," Wilson added.
Sadly, due to new coastal management laws , the Stinsons may not be able to rebuild. What was, is now gone.
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