March 8: Finally, NC12 open and ferries running.
Update: Access to Ocracoke continues to fluctuate. From NC DOT this morning (March 7): Due to severe overnight overwash at Pea Island, Mirlo, and Ocracoke, NC 12 is now closed to ALL traffic between the Bonner Bridge and Rodanthe, as well as on Ocracoke between the Pony Pens and the Ferry Terminal. Also, ferries at Hatteras Inlet are not running until roads reopen.
N.C. 12 reopened Tuesday evening between the Bonner Bridge and Rodanthe, and the north end of Ocracoke Island. The highway was closed due to severe overwash and sand that began Saturday evening and continued through Monday.
Motorists are advised to drive with extreme caution since some sand and standing water will still be present at both locations. Some additional ocean overwash is also possible at high tide.
With the road reopened, ferry service has now been restored on the Hatteras-Ocracoke ferry route with the following schedule:
Tuesday, March 6:
• From Hatteras: 6 p.m., 9 p.m., midnight
• From Ocracoke: 7:30 & 10:30 p.m.
Wednesday, March 7:
• From Hatteras: 6, 7, 9 and 10 a.m., 12, 1, 3, 4, 6 and 9 p.m., midnight
• From Ocracoke: 4:30, 7:30, 8:30, 10:30 and 11:30 a.m., 1:30, 2:30, 4:30, 5:30, 7:30 and 10:30 p.m.
The route will resume its regular published schedule on Thursday, March 8.
Islanders and visitors have had to rely on the long ferry routes across the Pamlico Sound since the high winds abated on Sunday, but due to shoaling in Big Foot Slough just west of Ocracoke, these ferries have had abbreviated schedules and have limited the number and total weight of vehicles.
Ocracoke Postmaster Celeste Brooks said on Monday that no mail had been delivered or sent since Friday, nor packages delivered via UPS or FedEx, when N.C. 12 was closed due to ocean overwash from the high winds and ferry service was suspended. UPS service finally made it to the island on Tuesday, she said.