Mandatory evacuations issued for Dare County and Ocracoke
Published 8:37 pm Monday, September 2, 2019
In Dare County, a mandatory evacuation for visitors starts at noon on Tuesday, Sept. 3. For Dare residents, the mandatory evacuation begins at 6 a.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 4.
Hyde County has ordered a mandatory evacuation of all visitors from Ocracoke Island beginning at 5 a.m. on Tuesday, September 3. The mandatory evacuation for Ocracoke residents goes into effect Wednesday, September 4 at 5 a.m.
States of Emergency have been declared in both counties.
Ocean swimming is prohibited in Dare County. Strong surf and rip currents have made ocean conditions extremely hazardous. Dangerous conditions are expected to last for the duration of the storm.
Those evacuating to areas north of Dare County are encouraged to travel westbound on Highway 64 to Interstate 95. Evacuating through the rural areas to the west of Dare County will help avoid traffic backups and congestion that may prolong evacuation by traveling northbound through the Hampton Roads portion of Virginia.
Only residents, homeowners or vendors with an Ocracoke re-entry pass on their vehicles will be allowed on ferries inbound to Ocracoke beginning at 5 a.m. on September 3. 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-Hatteras, Ocracoke-Cedar Island and Ocracoke-Swan Quarter ferry routes will run their published schedules. The final departure from Ocracoke to Swan Quarter will be September 4 at 3:45 p.m., the final departure from Ocracoke to Cedar Island will be September 4 at 1 p.m. and the final departure from Ocracoke to Hatteras will be September 4 at 2 p.m. The Ocracoke Express passenger ferry ended service for the 2019 season at the end of the day Monday.
Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge and the Coastal North Carolina National Wildlife Refuge visitor centers will be closed starting Tuesday, Sept. 3 for the duration of the storm.
All park service visitor services at Cape Hatteras, Fort Raleigh and Wright Brothers Memorial will be suspended beginning Sept. 3 until the storm passes.
In the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, all off-road vehicle ramps and routes will close to off-road vehicle access at 9 p.m., Sept. 2.
At National Park Service campgrounds, the last night for camping is Sept. 2. All campers must vacate by 10 a.m. on Sept. 3.
The state’s Division of Marine Fisheries is asking fishermen to get ready for the storm.
Fishermen should remove fishing gear from the water well before the storm’s arrival. Crab pots and gill nets, especially, are prone to damage and displacement during storms.
Vessel owners should check safety equipment to ensure all is in working order and plan to remove boats from the water or take them to safe harbor as the storm approaches. Vessels that remain in the water should be secured with extra mooring lines.
Dare County Schools will be in session under the normal schedule on Tuesday, September 3. This includes the after-school enrichment program. Dare Schools will be closed for students and staff from Wednesday, Sept. 4 through Friday Sept. 6.
Currituck County Schools will be joining emergency management and county government for a briefing the morning of Tuesday, September 3 on Hurricane Dorian. Tuesday will be a normal day for staff and students.