Sept. 3, 2016 9:13 p.m.
By Connie Leinbach
Hyde County officials hope to lift the mandatory visitors’ evacuation tomorrow (Sunday) as soon as they get the OK from N.C. Ferry Division officials that ferries may cross the Hatteras Inlet and Pamlico Sound safely.
The announcement was made after the 4 p.m. meeting of the Ocracoke Deputy Control Group, which evaluates storm threats and recommends to the Hyde County commissioners whether or not to declare an evacuation.
Tomorrow’s decision to run ferries also will take into consideration the passability of roads in Hatteras and northward in Dare County, said Hyde County Manager Bill Rich.
“Dare has up to 5 inches of water on the roads,” he said Saturday afternoon, “and Hatteras has had a lot of damage.”
The Ferry Division will do test runs tomorrow morning at 7 a.m.
“That takes a couple of hours and then the Coast Guard has to approve it,” Rich said.
If conditions in Dare County or the Hatteras Inlet are not sufficient, the long-route ferries, from Swan Quarter and Cedar Island, might be the only ferries running.
“There’s lots of flooding on the mainland and Cedar Island had 15 inches of rain,” Rich said, all of which may make getting to either of these ferry docks difficult.
Tideland EMC reported outages in approximately 1,500 consumers in Tideland’s six-county service territory, with most of the outages concentrated in Beaufort County. By 10 a.m., Tideland had restored service to all but 191 consumers.
On Ocracoke, no storm related outages occurred, although after the press release was issued, Cape Hatters Electric had to shut off its transmissions to Ocracoke to make a repair at about 7:45 p.m. that lasted about 45 minutes.
Rich also said the Ocracoke Convenience site will reopen tomorrow.
The National Weather Service forecast as of 8:30 this evening is as follows:
For tonight: TROPICAL CYCLONE HERMINE WILL CONTINUE TO LIFT NORTHEASTWARD AWAY FROM EASTERN NC TONIGHT, THEN LINGER OFF THE MID- ATLANTIC COAST INTO EARLY NEXT WEEK. HIGH PRESSURE WILL BUILD INTO THE AREA FROM THE NORTHWEST.
Sunday: NW winds 20 to 25 knots, diminishing to 15 to 20 kt in the afternoon. Waves around 3 ft. A slight chance of showers.
Sunday night: NW winds 15 to 20 knots, around 3 ft. A slight chance of showers.
For real-time travel information, visit the Traveler Services section of NCDOT.gov or follow NCDOT on Twitter.