By Sam Walker on December 9, 2011
Despite the empty lantern room atop the Bodie Island Lighthouse remaining exposed since Hurricane Irene, the beacon north of Oregon Inlet is not being damaged from the weather.
A protective shroud around the top of the lighthouse was torn away by the storm in August.
National Park Service Outer Banks Group Deputy Superintendent Darrell Echols says that the lantern room is built to handle the elements.
“There are tracks in the floor designed to moved water out if it gets inside,” Echols said. ”No water is entering the tower whatsoever.”
“We’ve not had a lot of rain since the hurricane, and what we have gotten is not causing any structural issues,” Echols said.
Renovations were stopped in March because additional repairs and money were needed to continue the preservation of the black-and-white-painted brick tower built in 1870, and possibly open it to the public for climbing sometime in the future.
Echols adds a contract to continue the restoration could be signed in a matter of weeks.
Echols also said that funding for the lighthouse repairs has been secured, and an announcement on the particulars will also be made in the near future.
The priceless Fresnel lens was removed from the lighthouse over two years ago, before renovations began, and is remains in a secure location away from the Bodie Island Light Station.