‘Extreme shoaling’ of channel may delay ferries
The NCDOT Ferry Division said Monday the threat of severe weather when a cold front moves through Tuesday, wind-driven tides and the narrow channel has created a safety issue that needs constant monitoring.
An immediate fix was provided by a side-cast vessel in May. Pipeline dredging is expected to be done in the next several weeks by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, according to the Ferry Division.
“Visitors to our area need to be apprised of the situation,” said Deputy Ferry Director Jed Dixon.
Dixon is calling on local residents, businesses, restaurants, motels and vacation home rental agencies to help spread the word.
Because of the shoaling, only smaller Hatteras Class boats, which draw less water and are easier to maneuver in the shallow passage, began running the route on Monday.
Travelers using the Hatteras Inlet route could encounter delays, load weight restrictions and possible suspensions of service.
The Ferry Division says travelers can get up-to-date information by going to www.twitter.com/ncdot_ferry or call the Hatteras terminal at (252) 986-2353.
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