A beautiful sunset Tuesday night at Silver Lake, Ocracoke. Photo: C. Leinbach

The Ocracoke Observer will provide updates on Hurricane Dorian. To follow this news, check out the home page.

Sept. 4, 2019. 10 a.m. Updated 3:05 p.m. Observer staff report

Hyde County is now under a hurricane watch as Hurricane Dorian works its way up the coast.

A hurricane watch means hurricane conditions are possible within the next 48 hours. Now is the time to finish your preparations and secure any loose items in your yard.

The National Weather Service out of Newport/Morehead City said early this morning (Wednesday) that the arrival of tropical storm-force winds is now most likely Thursday night instead of during the day. 

“This will allow folks extra time to prepare but will not change the overall impacts at all,” said Erik Heden, warning coordination meteorologist. Even though Dorian’s eye may be offshore, impacts can occur well away from the center, he said. 

Hurricane force winds are possible for much of eastern North Carolina, but are most likely along the coast.

The Weather Prediction Center has forecast a 3 to 5 feet storm surge for the Outer Banks and six to 10 inches of precipitation to accumulate across Hyde County, including Ocracoke Island, over the next seven days. The storm is expected to cause serious overwash on Highway 12 on Ocracoke and Hatteras islands. 

The Hyde County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) is now activated and will remain operational throughout the duration of this storm. If you have any concerns or need assistance call the EOC at 252-926-3715.

If you need assistance with evacuation transportation, please call Hyde Transit at 252-926-1637. If you have an emergency call 911.

Ocracoke is under a mandatory evacuation and as such, EMS personnel must leave.

David White, the mainland EMS operations chief, said the EMS crew on duty now on Ocracoke will leave on today’s last ferry at 3:45 p.m. to Swan Quarter. Those EMS workers not on duty may choose to stay or leave, he said.

“One ambulance will leave, and one ambulance and the beach rescue truck will stay at the Ocracoke Volunteer Fire Department,” he said.

White said Dana Long, a paramedic with the department, is staying on the island and will be available up until the storm hits.

Gail Covington, nurse practitioner, said she is staying for the storm and will be available for medical assistance as conditions permit. Her contact number is 252-996-0511.

Ocracoke School is closed for the rest of the week.

Hyde County government offices are closed today through Friday. All Hyde County convenience sites will close at noon today.

All National Park Service activities are suspended. Off-road vehicle ramps and routes are now closed to off-road vehicle access.

Alcohol sales will cease starting at 4 p.m. Wednesday.

A curfew will be in force from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. starting Wednesday night.

The last ferry leaving Ocracoke for Cedar Island today will be at 1 p.m. the last Ocracoke-to-Hatteras ferry will be at 2 p.m. and to Swan Quarter at 3:45 pm. 

Priority boarding will be suspended for all vessels leaving Ocracoke, and tolls have been waived for ferries heading from Ocracoke to Cedar Island or Swan Quarter.

The general population shelter for evacuees for Hyde County opens today and is located at the Northampton County Cultural and Wellness Center, 9536 NC Highway 305, Jackson. Call Hyde Transit with evacuation transportation needs at 252-926-1637. Any citizen with special needs that requires evacuation assistance, or citizens with questions, contact the Emergency Operation Center.


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