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Mandatory evacuation of Ocracoke Island ordered due to Isaias

The Ocracoke Control Group met at 9 a.m. on Friday, July 31, 2020 to discuss the need for an evacuation order for Ocracoke Island in advance of Hurricane Isaias affecting the Eastern North Carolina area. The group has recommended that the Hyde County Board of Commissioners enact a mandatory evacuation of the island.

Based on the recommendation from the Ocracoke Control Group, the Hyde County Board of Commissioners has ordered a mandatory visitor evacuation of Ocracoke, effective at noon on Friday, July 31, 2020. A mandatory resident and nonresident property owner evacuation of Ocracoke will be effective at 6 a.m. on Saturday, August 1, 2020.

Ocracoke entry is currently restricted to residents, homeowners, vendors and other essential personnel requested by federal, state or county officials until the evacuation orders begin. “You will need an Ocracoke re-entry pass or adequate documentation on the vehicle to be allowed on any ferries inbound to Ocracoke,” stated a Friday press release. “Once the evacuation orders are active, only emergency personnel will be allowed entry to the island.”

Soundside ferry routes are already operating at a greatly reduced capacity due to shoaling in a key channel. It is highly recommended that individuals utilize the Ocracoke-Hatteras ferry route as the sound routes will reach capacity fast, according to Hyde officials. It was also noted that everyone should begin their evacuations as soon as possible.

The latest report from the National Weather Service has Hurricane Isaias’s wind measured at 80 mph. The first impacts from this system will likely be increased swell/rip current risks beginning Friday and continuing through early next week. There is no major difference in the track as of yet, but confidence in the track is increasing. The storm surge probability estimates have not yet been issued. The current earliest time of tropical storm force winds is currently predicted for Sunday night.

The Hyde County Emergency Operations Center has been activated and can be reached at 252-926-3715. The Hyde County Emergency Services Department will continue to monitor the forecast for Hurricane Isaias and issue advisories as appropriate. Monitor the National Hurricane Center website at  https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/.

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