Editor’s note: This is good news. We will keep you posted on when re-entry to Ocracoke will begin. 

Reprinted courstesy of the Outer Banks Voice 

By  on September 14, 2018

The Pirate’s Cove charter fleet cleared out earlier this week. (Rob Morris)

Hatteras Island is still shut down, but with no serious flooding or damage above Oregon Inlet, Dare County plans a phased re-entry for the northern beaches starting Saturday.

Hurricane Florence crossed onto land 300 miles south of the Outer Banks this morning, and the expansive storm continued to throw some squalls and high surf onto the shoreline up to the Virginia line and beyond.

But the forecast into the weekend looks good enough to allow the return of “essential personnel, permanent residents, essential personnel for critical businesses, non-resident property owners and non-resident employees of non-critical businesses” starting at 7 a.m. Saturday, a county statement said.

“Permanent residents will be allowed re-entry with a valid NC driver’s license with a local address or a current Dare County property tax bill or parcel data sheet,” the statement said.

“Non-resident essential personnel of critical businesses such as food service/supply, pharmacies, banks, gas stations, property management, building supply and hotels will be permitted re-entry only with a permit.

“It is anticipated that visitors will be allowed entry to areas north of Oregon Inlet beginning Sunday, Sept. 16 at 7 a.m.”

See the full statement »

They advised, however, that travelers should first check road conditions south and west of the Outer Banks.

Meanwhile, towns on Hatteras had some flooding, and N.C. 12, the only access to the island, is closed. Water rescues were under way in historic New Bern, an inland town about 145 miles from Nags Head.

Because of conditions along N.C. 12 and in the villages, re-entry to Hatteras Island is still up in the air.

“We want to give NCDOT 24-to-36 hours to assess and work on Highway 12 and we still have standing water and other potential issues to deal with there,” Bob Woodard, chairman of the Dare County Board of Commissioners said this morning.

“Also, there is a strong possibility of more ocean overwash during the next one or two high tide cycles.”

Woodard and other officials were on their way to Hatteras Island to assess the situation when he spoke to the Voice this morning.

The dunes were breached just outside Hatteras village. (NCDOT)

“Our road crews inspected N.C. 12 on Hatteras Island this morning, and while there are still several areas of deep sand and standing water, we are cautiously optimistic that there is no apparent damage to the pavement,” the NCDOT posted on the Highway 12 Facebook page.

“We expect more overwash over the next few high tide cycles, but hopefully things will gradually improve as Florence weakens and moves away from the area.”

Dare County officials said two National Guard four-wheel-drive ambulances and two humvees, each manned with two people, were stationed on Hatteras Island to help EMS with any calls for assistance.

Winds on the Outer Banks were running about 30 mph in most of the area, slightly less than yesterday. A UNC Coastal Studies Institute buoy off Nags Head recorded wave heights of about 13 feet this morning.

This morning, the National Hurricane Center said that the center of the storm was about 20 miles southwest of Wilmington and moving west-southwest at 3 mph.

Maximum sustained winds were 80 mph, which will remain far south of the Outer Banks as the storm moves farther away.

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