If you rely on the ferry to get back and forth between Southport and Fort Fisher, you are in luck. After being shut down for repair for two months, the ferry will be re-opening on Monday, February 2. The Department of Transportation had to stop ferry service so they could fix the ramp vehicles use to drive onto the ferry. Since taking the ferry from Fort Fisher to Southport is an hour shorter than driving between the two towns, business owners were concerned many wouldn't make the drive to do their holiday shopping in Southport. While there certainly were less people walking around downtown over the holidays, it wasn't as slow as anticipated. Ann Endres, owner of the Christmas House, said "We wound up having the best Christmas we've ever had. And knock on wood somewhere, January has been pretty good so far too, so we are keeping our fingers crossed." There is another twist that seems to have business owners a little worried. Due to Coast Guard regulations, DOT will be cutting back on their spring and summer ferry schedule. The Coast Guard will be strictly enforcing the number of hours a boat crew can operate a vessel. They require the DOT to find an alternate crew if individuals are working more than twelve hours a day. In this case, the DOT decided to cut back on some routes instead, which means two less crossings a day.
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