Sunny weather draws crowds to the county for Labor Day weekend | Atlantic beach

Atlantic beach — Mindy Epps of Kinston and her family spent Labor Day enjoying the picture-perfect weather on the beach at Fort Macon State Park.

“We decided to go down for the day because (her kids) haven’t been to the beach for a while,” she said.

The Epps family was among the thousands who traveled to the county over the Labor Day weekend, which marks the end of the traditional tourist season.

Crowds filled the park all weekend, said Randy Newman, superintendent of Fort Macon State Park, and numbers have increased since Labor Day 2022.

“We had about 3,000 extra people this year because the weather was great,” he said. “The weather was nice, and the ocean was basically flat, so we didn’t have water rescues.”

The three-day Labor Day weekend in Fort Macon had 19,107 people, compared to 16,095 the previous Labor Day weekend.

The only challenge was the heavy rains from Tropical Storm Adalia last week that flooded the Fort Macon bathroom parking lot. Parts of the park were still flooding on Monday, but Newman said the waters were still receding and the park was continuing to pump water from flooded areas.

Park visitors don’t seem to mind getting their feet wet in parts of the parking lot as they unload their belongings for a day at the beach.

Oceanana Fishing Pier manager Brittany Mann said the Atlantic Beach icon also enjoyed big weekend crowds.

“We’ve been very busy,” she said on Monday.

Amber Baxter of Raleigh was among those who visited the pier.

“We’ve come to visit family in Morehead Town. Today is the first day we went to the beach, and we’re going to take the baby into the water for a while,” she said. “We also wanted to walk along the pier.”

Michael Hughes of Richmond, Virginia, was also enjoying a day of fishing on the pier.

“We came here for oyster shells,” he said. “We thought that after the hurricane, there might be a lot of shells. We came to fish too.

Emerald Isle Town manager Matt Zapp said the resort at the west end of Bogue Banks had a great Labor Day weekend too, with picture-perfect weather and big crowds on the beach and in corporate.

“The city was fortunate to have limited damage from the impact of Hurricane Franklin and Tropical Storm Adalia,” he said. “The members of the Emerald Public Works and Parks Maintenance team did a tremendous job cleaning up after the storms.”

Ocean rescuers only made three calls to duty on the Emerald Isle, and while the police department was busy, Zapp said he encountered a “record volume of calls and traffic problems.”

The Fire and Emergency Department responded to 20 calls for service.

Contact Cheryl Burke at 252-726-7081, ext. 255; Email; Or follow us on Twitter @cherylccnt.

Call Brad Rich at 252-864-1532; email; Or follow us on Twitter @brichccnt.

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