As this storm approaches, we will have more updates.
Sept. 10, 5:45 p.m.–According to Donnie Shumate, Hyde County public information officer, only emergency personnel will be allowed onto the island, effective tomorrow, Tuesday, Sept. 11. Residents will not be allowed on until restrictions are lifted.
Effective at 5 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 11, the Hyde County Board of Commissioners has issued a mandatory evacuation of Ocracoke Island for residents, non-resident property owners and the continued mandatory evacuation of visitors. All alcohol sales on the island will be suspended at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 11.
The Ocracoke-Hatteras and Ocracoke-Cedar Island routes will run their published schedules. The Ocracoke-Swan Quarter route will add a 6:30 p.m. departure from Swan Quarter and a 9:30 p.m. departure from Ocracoke to accommodate evacuees.
“This is the biggest storm to head for our coast in decades,” said Ferry Division Director Harold Thomas. “We hope everyone on Ocracoke Island will take heed and leave as soon as possible.”
At noon on Monday, the Hyde County Board of Commissioners declared a state of emergency for all of Hyde County and a mandatory visitor evacuation of Ocracoke Island due to the potential impact of Hurricane Florence.
Ocracoke entry restricted at 5 a.m. Tuesday, and the priorities are as follows:
1) Emergency personnel and equipment
2) NCDOT highway and power company personnel and equipment
3) Sanitation personnel and equipment
4) Mail and parcel delivery
5) Commodities and fuel vendors until ferry operations cease
Information on available shelters and transportation options will be forthcoming.
Hurricane Florence is projected to be a major hurricane with landfall somewhere in the southeastern N.C. area. All of Hyde County is currently in the cone of uncertainty and current projections show the possibility of tropical storm force winds arriving as early as Wednesday evening.
During a state of emergency, all N.C. DOT ferry reservations are canceled and tolls are waived. Boarding the ferries will be on a first-come, first-served basis. Due to the possible flooding and wash over on Hwy 12, impacts may occur well in advance of the storm, we recommend starting your evacuation as soon as possible and utilizing the sound route ferries when evacuating. Decisive action is necessary to insure you arrive at your destination safely.
The Hyde County Emergency Services Department will continue to monitor the forecast and issue advisories as appropriate. Also, the Ocracoke Deputy Control Group will continue meeting to receive daily weather briefings and discuss emergency protective measures. Citizens should monitor their local weather outlets, the National Weather Service Weather Forecast Offices, and the National Hurricane Center for the most timely information.
To see Hyde County’s hurricane and flood procedures and preparation information, visit our website at http://hydecountync.gov/hurricane_and_flood_info/index.php