Hurricane Dorian on Ocracoke

Dorian approaches island; hurricane winds expected at 5 a.m.

Afternoon on Silver Lake Harbor, Ocracoke, pre-Dorian. Photo: C. Leinbach

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

Observer staff report

Hurricane Dorian is now about 40 miles south of Wilmington, moving northeast towards eastern North Carolina, the National Weather Service out of Newport/Morehead City reported tonight. Multiple tornadoes in the outer bands of the storm have already impacted eastern NC.

Hyde County is currently under a hurricane and storm surge warning. Make sure you have multiple ways to receive emergency weather alerts.

The forecast has not changed much since yesterday. Hurricane Dorian is a still a strong category 2 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 105 mph.

Tropical storm force conditions arrived around 7 p.m. this evening and will continue through Friday afternoon. Hurricane-force conditions are forecasted to begin around 5 a.m. Friday morning lasting several hours.

Hyde County is expecting sustained winds of 80 to 90 mph with gusts over 100 mph. Rainfall totals are predicted to be between 8 to 10 inches with localized areas of up to 15 inches.

Flash flooding is very likely during this event. Do not attempt to drive through areas with flooding. Storm surge levels could range between 3 to 6 feet above ground level.

Water levels will rise very rapidly on the sounds, particularly soundside Outer Banks, as the storm passes.

Based on the current forecast, Tideland EMC anticipates widespread power outages with restoration activities lasting several days or longer. Tideland line crews will be joined by 81 additional personnel from Virginia, South Carolina and Maryland as well as in-state crews.

The extra personnel have been pre-staged in area hotels and consist of line workers and tree removal crews, nearly tripling Tideland’s existing repair workforce.

Tideland members should report power outages by calling 1-800-882-1001 or by texting OUT to short code 85700.

With expected loss of power, people should have multiple means of receiving weather warnings.

A mandatory evacuation of all Hyde County residents is in effect. A curfew remains in place for Ocracoke Island from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. A countywide ban on alcohol sales will remain in place until the order is lifted. Dare County has also invoked a mandatory evacuation and no entry is permitted beginning Thursday evening. 

North Carolina Emergency Management has opened shelters in other areas of the state, including pet-friendly locations. For updated shelter information, visit: https://www.ncdps.gov/storm-shelters

The Hyde County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) will remain operational throughout the duration of this storm and the recovery process. If you have any concerns or need assistance call the EOC at 252-926-3715. If you have an emergency call 911.

Continue monitoring their social media outlet and website www.hydecountync.gov for updates.

‘Downtown’ Ocracoke is quiet on Thursday before Hurricane Dorian’s arrival. Photo: C. Leinbach