Virginia Beach hotels welcome OBX vacationers, others forced to give up vacation

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - As the power outages on Hatteras and Ocracoke Islands continue, vacationers scheduled to hit the North Carolina beaches this week are forced to either find somewhere else to relax, or stay home.

Stephanie Case and her family never left their Maryland home. They were scheduled to come to North Carolina Saturday morning.

"We originally knew the situation going on, but we were still ready to go," explained Case. "We knew we weren't going to have power or air conditioning and that kind of stuff and we were ready to rough it."

On Friday night they were told by their rental company, Surf or Sound Realty, that they would not be able to access their rental property.

"I was kind of shocked," explained Case. "I didn't know what to do. I had to go and explain to our three kids that we were going to be in limbo and not sure if our vacation was going to happen."

Instead of enjoying time on the beach with family and friends, the Case's have spent their week off from work at their home. They were told from their rental company that they would not get a refund for their vacation home, meaning they are out $2,000 and unable to afford another vacation.

Surf or Sound Realty provided the following statement to News 3 in regards to their refund policy:

"We feel sincere empathy for all of our guests who have had their vacations interrupted by this unfortunate event.

We recommend travel insurance to our guests at the time of booking and lease signing. Guests with travel insurance are being encouraged to file a claim with our insurance carrier.

Since the power outage occurred on Thursday morning, one office has been operating under independent generator power and we have been able to answer calls on those phones, however the call volume has been high and unfortunately some calls have been dropped, or the guests have had difficulty hearing us. We have been communicating directly with guests who have reservations affected by this event.

We are hopeful that power will be restored this week so that we can once again welcome our guests to beautiful Hatteras Island."

Other vacationers were already in their rental properties when they were forced to leave.

It is too soon after the weekend to know just how many vacationers made their way to Virginia Beach, but according to the Virginia Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau there was a significant increase in visitors over the weekend.

Spokesperson Teresa Diaz says her office took many phone calls over the weekend from vacationers who were forced from their North Carolina rental properties. Many were able to find rooms in Virginia Beach hotels.

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