From our news sources
Further update April 7: The N.C. Department of Transportation’s Ferry Division suspended all service on Pamlico Sound between Cedar Island, Swan Quarter and Ocracoke through Monday, April 12, due to worsening shoaling issues in the ferry channel just outside of Ocracoke’s Silver Lake Harbor.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Dredge Murden and/or Dredge Merritt will continue to work in the Bigfoot Slough channel to clear the shoaling, but dredging operations are dependent on weather and tides. Once the dredging work is complete and water depths and channel widths return to acceptable levels, the Ferry Division will resume the schedule on both routes.
Shoaling occurs when sand and sediment fill into a ferry channel, making water depths too shallow for safe operation of the ferry system’s largest vessels.
Once the dredging work is complete and water depths in the ferry channel return to acceptable levels, the Ferry Division will resume its regular schedule on both routes.
Justin LeBlanc, chair of the Ocracoke Waterways Commission, had reported on March 26 that the ACE said funding for the Murden would last until the first week of April. The Murden has to leave for another job on April 9, but the side caster dredge Merritt will be available after that.
The ACE had planned to conduct a survey of the primary shoal in Big Foot Slough on March 28 so they can better assess the conditions and make adjustments as needed.
For up-to-the-minute information on schedule changes on the Cedar Island and Swan Quarter routes, please follow @NCFerryPamSound on Twitter.