SURF CITY, NC (WECT) - On a brisk, sunny Thursday afternoon, Governor Roy Cooper took a stroll on the multi-use path on the new $53 million high rise bridge that opened for traffic Tuesday.
“This is great to see, I think this brand new bridge is going to be great for the local economy in the coming months,” said Cooper.
The governor spent the afternoon not only checking out the new bridge but also getting an update on Hurricane Florence recovery as Surf City bounces back from being battered by the storm.
“I wanted to come here today because I know how important this beach is to North Carolina’s tourism economy and one of the messages that is pretty clear to me is North Carolina beaches are open for business,” Cooper said.
“We are almost cleaned up," Surf City Mayor Doug Medlin said. "We are in the final stages of picking up debris, and the beaches are all clear and beautiful and we are ready for tourists. All we have to do is put the sand back.”
The mayor tagged along with Cooper as he visited several local businesses that were damaged after Florence, including Daddy Mac’s, Gallagher’s and Surf City Crab.
“Many of these small business owners got back into their shops and restaurants and opened up soon after Florence left," Cooper said. "That means employees can get back to work. It puts money in their pockets, means more tax money to the state. These intrepid owners have found the battle and now they are wide open.”
Cooper said it was amazing to see the difference on the beach Thursday as compared to the bird’s eye view he got of the area a few days after Florence.
“It looks great," the governor said. "Our beaches are known across the world and we want people to come to North Carolina to enjoy our beaches and enjoy the amenities that are here. There is a lot of furious work going on to get us back to where we need to be.”