Oct. 15, 2016. 4 p.m.
Updated: Oct. 17. 1:40 p.m.
By Connie Leinbach
The visitor evacuation for Ocracoke has been lifted and visitors will be allowed back on the island starting Monday (Oct. 17), Bill Rich, Hyde County manager said this afternoon.
The Ocracoke Deputy Control Group made the determination today, he said.
“We’re confident the weather will be good today and tomorrow,” he said.
Recent forecasts had indicated strong winds and more tide was possible, but the forecast from the National Weather Service for tonight is partly cloudy, with a low around 61. Northeast wind 9 to 14 mph.
Since Hyde County recently received an “Individual Assistance” declaration from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), islanders should go online to the FEMA website and begin the application process, he said.
Justin Gibbs, Hyde County Emergency Services director, had said that since the county received this declaration, turn-around time for islanders to receive financial help should be fairly fast.
Rudy Austin, during a visit to Portsmouth with his brother Don, reported that the island fared well. The buildings are in good shape. A couple of little outbuildings toppled as well as some trees, he said. The water level was not as high as for Hurricane Alex in 2004.
As for debris, Rich said FEMA will begin collecting it on Wednesday.
Outer Banks Group Superintendent David Hallac said today that the National Park Service visitor center, off-road vehicle permit office and campground on Ocracoke will reopen on Monday.
There is currently unrestricted access to all areas of Dare County north of Oregon Inlet and for the Hatteras Island villages of Rodanthe, Waves, Salvo, Avon, and Buxton.
It is important for visitors to check with their rental company or accommodations provider to confirm reservations before traveling to the area since some properties were impacted and require repairs. Also, please be mindful that many residents and businesses of the island have suffered significant impacts and are in the process of recovering so your patience and understanding is truly appreciated.
The forecast Sunday night is mostly clear, with a low around 63. East wind will be 5 to 7 mph. On Monday, it will be sunny, with a high near 75. North wind will be around 6 mph becoming south in the afternoon.
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