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Evacuation ordered for Ocracoke in advance of Hurricane Matthew

Silver Lake Harbor is already at extremely high water levels not related to Hurricane Matthew. Photo by P. Vankevich

Silver Lake Harbor is already at extremely high water levels, not related to Hurricane Matthew. Photo by P. Vankevich

Oct. 4, 2016

The Hyde County Commissioners on Tuesday afternoon ordered mandatory evacuation of visitors and residents of the island starting tomorrow (Wednesday) in advance of the arrival of Hurricane Matthew.

Visitors must begin evacuating starting at 5 a.m., according to Bill Rich, Hyde County manager.

Resident and non-resident property owners, vendors and critical infrastructure providers will be permitted to travel to and from the island 

Starting at 5 a.m. Thursday, island residents are required to leave.   Only emergency personnel and vendors will be granted access to the island on Thursday, Rich said.

The N.C. Ferry Division will stop running ferries on Friday so that they can have all day to secure their boats, Rich said.

The Hyde County Emergency Services Department is monitoring Hurricane Matthew. Hurricane Matthew is forecast to be a Category Two Hurricane that has the potential to pass through or very near to Eastern North Carolina.

The following is from a Hyde County advisory:

The Hyde County Emergency Services Department is monitoring Hurricane Matthew, which is forecast to be a Category Two hurricane that has the potential to pass through or very near to Eastern North Carolina. This is a storm that should be taken very seriously for its potential to result in catastrophic impacts for portions of the area. Regardless of exact track or strength there is the potential for dangerous and life threatening impacts across the entire area.

Matthew has the potential to make landfall in South Carolina or North Carolina sometime between Friday and Sunday. Matthew is forecast to bring dangerous and potentially life-threatening storm surge and high surf, damaging strong winds that could produce prolonged power outages, heavy rainfall and flash flooding, tornadoes, extremely dangerous conditions for boaters and rip currents.

This is a storm that should be taken very seriously for its potential to result in catastrophic impacts for portions of the area, according to a Hyde County press release. Regardless of exact track or strength, there is the potential for dangerous and life-threatening impacts across the entire area.

Closely monitor the forecast for Matthew in the coming days, and be prepared to take action to protect yourself and your property. Secure your home. Board up windows and secure lawn furniture, mowers, hanging plants, trash cans and other loose items in the yard. Check on your neighbors, particularly the elderly or disabled.

Make plans now for how you will deal with the potential threats and impacts. Your plans and preparedness measures should include:

  • Have a disaster preparedness kit ready, and take your emergency supplies kit with you when you evacuate.
  • Pack important family documents in a waterproof container.
  • Have a place to go, such as the home of a family member or friend, motel or shelter.
  • Notify family or friends of your plans, when you are leaving and where you are going.
  • Be familiar with area’s evacuation routes.
  • Fill your car with gas.
  • Bring extra cash as banks may be closed and ATMs may not work.
  • Do not panic.
  • Arrive safely at your destination.

Please be advised, flood waters may contain sewage and other harmful contaminants. Keep children and pets out of flood waters.

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