Ferry News

Overwash, high winds hinder access to Ocracoke Sunday

NCDOT works on clearing N.C. 12 at the north end of Ocracoke. Photo by Richard Taylor

To catch up on Ocracoke news, click here

Editor’s note: Access to the island is changing frequently until roads are cleared and the storm system has moved on. Expect both ferry runs and disruptions for a little longer. N.C. Ferry Division phone numbers are listed below for more information. 

By Peter Vankevich  

Early Saturday evening the N.C. Ferry Division tweeted that the Hatteras-Ocracoke route had resumed after being suspended on Friday due to high winds and water. That back-to-normal was short-lived.

Sunday morning the Ferry Division again suspended service to Hatteras and Ocracoke islands until the roads are cleared.

The N.C. Department of Transportation posted early Sunday morning that N.C. 12 was closed from the Bonner Bridge to Rodanthe where several areas are sand-covered and have deep standing water. To stay current on that situation, visit https://tims.ncdot.gov/tims/RegionSummary.aspx?ro=3810.

Travel may likely be disrupted over the next several high tide cycles.

High tides on Sunday are 9:19 a.m. and 9:43 p.m.; low tides 3:40 a.m. and 4:01 p.m. Monday high tides will be 10:02 a.m. and 10:29 p.m.; low tides, 4:30 a.m. and 4:42 p.m.

On Ocracoke, over wash and sand caused road closure near mile post 75 (near the South Dock terminal) while the NCDOT maintenance crew worked on clearing it. A warning on the NC DOT sign leaving the village indicated the road was closed ahead and Hyde County Sheriff’s Deputies blocked the highway just north of milepost 76. Reopening time remains unclear.

The good news is the Sunday ferry departures are running on schedule, at least for today. These are the routes and times: 1 p.m. Ocracoke to Cedar Island; 1:30 p.m. Ocracoke to Swan Quarter; 4:30 p.m. Cedar Island to Ocracoke and 4:30 p.m. Swan Quarter to Ocracoke.

The Pamlico Sound routes, however, are still hampered by shoaling and dredging was suspended due to the storm system for safety reasons.

Travelers should contact the Ferry Division for departure information. The telephone numbers for updates are 252-996-6000 for the Hatteras Terminal; 252-928-1665 for the Ocracoke terminal; 252-225-7411 for the Cedar Island terminal; and 252-926-6021 for the Swan Quarter terminal.

The Cape Hatteras National Seashore reported the following on Sunday:

  • Other areas of NC Highway 12 and side roads may also have hazardous driving conditions that should be avoided.
  • The Atlantic Ocean has over-washed the dunes in multiple locations along both Hatteras and Ocracoke Islands.

  • High surf conditions have resulted in extremely hazardous conditions on and directly behind beaches.  

  • Walking and driving on beaches is not recommended until hazardous conditions subside later this week.

  • Potentially hazardous ocean debris may wash ashore and buried items may be exposed during storm conditions.

  • The U.S. Coast Guard reported that 70 cargo containers fell off of a cargo ship Saturday night, about 17 miles off Oregon Inlet, North Carolina.  Seashore visitors should report sightings of cargo containers either offshore or on the beach to Dare County’s non-emergency line at 252-473-3444. Richard Taylor contributed to this story.

Sunday morning heads-up for those considering the ferry, which closed. Photo by Richard Taylor

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