Hurricane Dorian on Ocracoke

Bank, health center, post office remain closed on Ocracoke post-Dorian

Khristine Brewington, vice president of network management for Trillium Health Resources, coordinates Ocracoke efforts with Laurie Potter, Hyde County Social Services director. Photo: C. Leinbach

Monday, Sept. 9, 2019. 3:29 p.m.

By Connie Leinbach

The First National Bank on Ocracoke was flooded and will remain closed indefinitely, Judith Garrish, manager, said today (Monday).

Tideland Electric Membership Cooperative pulled the meter as part of their work going around Ocracoke Island post-Hurricane Dorian assessing the electric meters on each building. That work has not yet been finished and no information is available yet as to when power will be restored.

Trillium Health Resources personnel are on the island and will go door to door to see if people want counseling, said Laurie Potter, Hyde County Department of Social Services director. They will be on the island all week and will be at the Ocracoke Volunteer Fire Department at the medical treatment area.

The Ocracoke Health Center is closed, and medical assistance is available at the Ocracoke Volunteer Fire Department, which is the command center for all activities. The Ocracoke post office also is closed indefinitely, said Celeste Brooks, postmaster. However, UPS arrived Monday morning and FedEx will arrive Tuesday.

The Hyde County Health Department will administer free tetanus shots at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday in the Ocracoke Volunteer Fire Department.

Although Ocracoke is still under a mandatory evacuation, island residents began returning to the island today.

Tom Pahl, Ocracoke’s county commissioner, said today that he and Hyde County Manager Kris Noble are working on an FAQ sheet of many concerns to be available for all islanders.

A part of Highway 12 at the north end of the island washed away completely, said Bob Jenkins, an NCDOT lead worker on Ocracoke. There’s no estimate as yet as to when that will be repaired.

The Ocracoke water system is functioning, but a boil water advisory is in place.

Cellular and public safety radio communications are restored. Cell phone charging stations are available in the Ocracoke Community Center.

Ocracoke remains a focus for emergency managers, National Guard soldiers, doctors, nurses and volunteer groups.

“Recovery efforts will continue so our coastal communities can recover as quickly as possible,” said Gov. Roy Cooper, who visited Ocracoke on Saturday.

About 25 National Guard soldiers remain on Ocracoke supporting recovery operations, along with a medical team and emergency managers.

Restoration efforts are in full force on Ocracoke post-Dorian. Photo: C. Leinbach

The N.C. Department of Insurance is coordinating the arrival of insurance adjusters to help homeowners and businesses and will also assist with a plan for collecting and disposing of the many flooded vehicles on the island.

The N.C. Department of Transportation’s Ferry Division will be expanding service on the emergency route between Hatteras and Ocracoke’s Silver Lake Harbor on Tuesday.

The route bypasses the closed section of N.C. Highway 12 on Ocracoke Island and takes two hours and 30 minutes for a one-way trip.

The schedule beginning Wednesday, Sept. 10, will be as follows:

  • Hatteras to Ocracoke-Silver Lake: 6, 7:30, 9, and 10:30 a.m., 12, 1:30, 3, and 4:30 p.m.
  • Ocracoke-Silver Lake to Hatteras: 9 and 10:30 a.m., 12, 1:30, 3, 4:30, 6, and 7:30 p.m.

Only high-clearance vehicles will be allowed on the Hatteras-Silver Lake route.

In addition, the Ferry Division’s Pamlico Sound routes will continue to operate on the following schedule:

  • Swan Quarter to Ocracoke: 7 a.m., 9 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 3 p.m., and 5 p.m.
  • Ocracoke to Swan Quarter: 10 a.m., 12 p.m., 2 p.m., 4 p.m., 6 p.m., and 8 p.m.
  • Cedar Island to Ocracoke: 8 a.m. and 2 p.m.
  • Ocracoke to Cedar Island:  11 a.m. and 5 p.m.

All fuel deliveries to Ocracoke should use the 9 a.m. Swan Quarter to Ocracoke departure.

At this time, access to Ocracoke-bound ferries is open only to permanent residents and personnel authorized by Hyde County Emergency Management. Re-entry restrictions for visitors remain in effect. Ocracoke residents wishing to leave the island will be allowed on any ferry departing for Hatteras, Swan Quarter or Cedar Island.

Those interested in donating goods and services are asked to email ocracokedisasterrelief@gmail.com about helping but not to purchase items before emailing.

Cash donations can be sent to either of the churches on Ocracoke by writing a check and sending it to the following places:
Ocracoke United Methodist Church
P.O. Box 278
Ocracoke, NC 27960
Ocracoke Lifesaving Church
P.O. Box 68
Ocracoke, NC 27960

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