Hyde County Sheriff deputies and state law enforcement personnel on duty Sunday at the Swan Quarter ferry terminal as Ocracoke residents return following the evacuation from Hurricane Florence. Photo: C. Leinbach

For more on Hurricane Florence and news on Ocracoke, click here

Restricted access to Ocracoke via the Swan Quarter ferry began Sunday following the passage of Hurricane Florence and will continue into Monday. Visitors are not yet permitted on the island.

Although Dare County is now completely open, the Hatteras/Ocracoke ferry is not running due to road damage on N.C. 12 on Ocracoke between the pony pen and the north end ferry terminal. NCDOT crews are on site and working to get repairs done.
The Cedar Island is also not running and there is no time table on when it will be operational.

As of Sunday, there was no determination on when non-resident property owners and visitors will be allowed back to the island. Hyde County’s Sunday evening press release said officials will assess conditions daily to evaluate the safety of allowing full reentry to the island.

The following reentry passes and vendors will be allowed to board the Swan Quarter ferry Monday in the following priority, which will be strictly enforced:

  1. Red Passes- Emergency personnel
  2. Yellow Passes – Essential island personnel
  3. Vendors – See below for vendor priority listings
  4. Green Passes – Permanent residents

Vendor priority list:

  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

Entry is first-come, first-served; there are no reservations. However, you will be bumped in line by anyone with a priority pass higher than yours.

The ferry schedule for the Swan Quarter–Ocracoke route for Monday, Sept. 17, is as follows:
Swan Quarter Departures: 9:30 a.m. 10:30, 3:30 p.m., and 4:30

Ocracoke Departures – 12:30 p.m., 1:30, 6:30 and 7:30

The schedule for after Monday has not yet been determined and will be released tomorrow.

Hyde County Sheriff Guire Cahoon chats with Ocracoke islander Marissa Gross at the Swan Quarter ferry terminal on Sunday. Photo: C. Leinbach

The curfew order for Hyde County has been lifted and classes at Ocracoke School will resume on Wednesday. Hyde County offices will be opening for normal operations starting Monday including the convenience sites.

If you are returning from out of town, check http://www.drivenc.gov for road conditions between you and your destination. You can also call 511 for road conditions.

While road conditions are better in the northeastern part of the state, the N.C. Department of Transportation continues to urge drivers to stay off the roads, as the rains from Florence continue and conditions worsen by the hour. As of Sunday afternoon at 4:30, there are nearly 700 road closures across the state.

“Unless you are evacuating, stay in place,” said Transportation Secretary Jim Trogdon. “Road conditions are changing rapidly with the rising waters and you could endanger yourself and those responding to the storm.”

By traveling in potentially hazardous areas, drivers are putting themselves and others at risk and impeding access for critical personnel – emergency services, utilities, road crews – responding to this storm.

GPS navigation systems are not keeping up with the changing road closures and are directing people onto roads that are confirmed closed and/or flooded.

If you have any questions or need assistance, call the Hyde County Emergency Operations Center at

NC 12 washout on Ocracoke from Hurricane Florence, Sept. 16, 2018. Photo by NC Division of Aviation
NC 12 washout on Ocracoke from Hurricane Florence, Sept. 16, 2018. Photo by NC Division of Aviation
NCDOT repairs NC 12 on the north end of Ocracoke Sunday, Sept. 16. Photo by NC Division of Aviation
A section of Route 264 near Swan Quarter, Hyde County, is awash in water. Photo: C. Leinbach
Previous articleMandatory evacuation order for Hyde County residents is lifted
Next articleOcracoke to the rescue