OCRACOKE – As Hurricane Dorian approaches the North Carolina coast, the N.C. Department of Transportation’s Ferry Division is assisting with the evacuation of all visitors and residents from Ocracoke Island. Hyde County has issued a mandatory evacuation order for island visitors beginning 5 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 3 and for residents beginning 5 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 4.
Only residents, homeowners, or vendors with an Ocracoke re-entry sticker on their vehicles will be allowed on ferries inbound to Ocracoke. Priority boarding will be suspended for all vessels leaving Ocracoke, and tolls have been waived for ferries heading from Ocracoke to Cedar Island or Swan Quarter.
The Ocracoke-Cedar Island, Ocracoke-Hatteras, and Ocracoke-Swan Quarter routes will run their published schedules.
- The final departure from Ocracoke to Cedar Island will be Sept. 4 at 1 p.m.
- The final departure from Ocracoke to Hatteras will be Sept. 4 at 2 p.m.
- The final departure from Ocracoke to Swan Quarter will be Sept. 4 at 3:45 p.m.
The Ocracoke Express passenger ferry will end service for the 2019 season at the end of the day today.
“Dorian has the potential to create serious flooding and storm surge on Ocracoke Island,” said Ferry Division Director Harold Thomas. “We hope everyone will take heed of the evacuation orders and leave as soon as possible.”
Dare County has also issued a mandatory evacuation order beginning at noon Tuesday, but Ocracoke residents will be allowed to transit through Dare County while the evacuation is underway.
Governor Roy Cooper declared a state of emergency on Friday, urging people to prepare for heavy rains and storm-force winds as Dorian is forecast to approach the state later this week.
Evacuation procedures will remain in effect for all Ocracoke-bound ferries until Hyde County emergency officials lift the evacuation orders.