Friday afternoon Sept. 13 outside the Ocracoke Volunteer Fire Department. Photo: C. Leinbach

The following was issued at 9 p.m. Friday, Sept. 13, 2019, from Hyde County. The Observer’s internet was off Friday night. So we’re posting it now at 10 a.m.:

Please read this entire release before attempting to access Ocracoke Island. 

For post-Dorian access to Ocracoke Island, Hyde County and the North Carolina Department of Transportation Ferry Division have implemented a new ferry reservation system that will be administered by the ferry terminals.

Starting today (Sept. 14), sound route ferry reservations will be taken daily from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. at 1-800-BY-FERRY (1-800-293-3779).

The Hatteras Ferry Terminal does not have a reservation system and vehicles will be placed in the stacking lanes using the priority system listed below.

Given the extensive damage to infrastructure in Ocracoke, Hyde County is requesting the continued enforcement of entry/re-entry restrictions and priorities at all ferry terminals delivering passengers to Ocracoke.

Therefore, Ocracoke entry/re-entry will be restricted to the following priorities:

* County/State Requested Resources
* Emergency Personnel
* Medical/Clinic
* National Park Service
* County Employees
* Code Enforcement Officers/Inspectors
* Department of Transportation
* Power Company
* Debris Removal
* Sanitation
* Mail and Parcel

* Insurance Adjusters
* Contractors
* Distributors/Suppliers/Vendors
* Volunteers

* Residents
* Non-resident Property Owners
* Local Business Owners and Employees
* School Employees/Staff

All contractors, insurance adjusters and state missions will be validated by Hyde County and a list will be provided to NCDOT Ferry Division on a continual basis.

Contractors and insurance adjusters should email with their credential/license and client list to be validated by our permits office.

The permits office will be available to verify credentials from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Since the new reservation system is being implemented on the weekend, credentials will be validated by email through this weekend.

Going forward, contractors and adjusters attempting to access the island on a weekend must have their credentials and client list validated by 5 p.m. on Fridays. If the required information is not validated before arriving at the terminal, then boarding will not be granted.

Individuals seeking entry/re-entry must have the appropriate Hyde County issued re-entry tag or a valid North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) Ferry Division-issued priority pass.

Expired re-entry tags will be honored as an acceptable means of establishing priority for this event.

The Hyde County re-entry tag colors are as follows:

  1. Emergency Personnel (Red)
  2. Infrastructure (Yellow)
  3. Resident (Green)
  4. Non-Resident Property Owner (White)

If a commuter fails to produce the aforementioned credentials, they will be required to show evidence of residency or property ownership.

The restrictions and priorities will be effective until new instructions are issued, or the access limitations are terminated by Hyde County.

Law enforcement officers will enforce the restrictions and priorities on all ferry routes delivering passengers to Ocracoke until further notice.

With this transition schedule, the Hyde County Mainland Emergency Operations Center (EOC) has been closed as of 8 p.m. Friday.

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  1. My husband and I are among the many tourists who were forced to cancel our stay on Okracoke Island this year. We are with you and WILL BE BACK!

  2. Hats off to the Ocracoke Observer for careful, detailed coverage of this difficult restarting of the island. I can only imagine how much help your stories are giving to residents, business owners, contractors and everybody else. We’re watching and cheering for all of you every day. Love, Mary Bishop

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