Hyde declares emergency, mandatory evacuation for visitors

By on September 1, 2016

Cars line up at the Ocracoke terminal Thursday evening. (NCDOT)

Hyde County commissioners voted Thursday to declare a state of emergency  and order a mandatory evacuation for visitors of Ocracoke Island as the Outer Banks waits for Hermine under a tropical storm warning.

Visitor access will be temporarily restricted, a statement from the county said. Law enforcement will be stationed at ferry terminals to enforce priorites for entering and re-entering.

Ferry routes servicing Ocracoke Island will be first-come-first-served. Reservations and priority status will not be honored, and tolls on the sound-class ferries will also be temporarily lifted.

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“The NC Ferry Division has expressed serious concern for rising water levels in the Pamlico Sound,” the statement said. “If the water level continues to rise, the Hatteras-Ocracoke ferries may not be able to utilize the loading docks.

“Therefore it is imperative that visitors choose to leave Ocracoke leave as soon as possible. Property owners and vendors entering Ocracoke today or tomorrow must realize there is a possibility they may not be able to get off the island via Hatteras.”

The county warned that anyone who chooses to stay do so at their own risk and should be prepared to systain themselves for several days.

Any patients with advanced medical needs should contact the Hyde County Health Department at (252) 926-4200.

The county reported that 406 cars 1,161 people were evacuated through Hatteras, 26 cars and 54 people through Cedar Island and 20 cars 40 people through Swan Quarter.

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