Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Ocracoke under mandatory evacuation for Hurricane Earl

Weather forecasters are anxiously watching Hurricane Earl but it is looking more and more likely this dangerous Category 4 storm will track very near the coasts of North Carolina and Virginia.

Mandatory evacuation orders have been issued for the barrier island of Ocracoke (part of Hyde County) south of Hatteras beginning at 5:00 a.m. Wednesday morning. All visitors and residents will be evacuated.

North Carolina emergency services have issued the following:
A state of emergency has been declared for Hyde County effective 9 PM Tuesday. A mandatory evacuation has been issued for all visitors and residents of Ocracoke beginning at 5 AM on Wednesday, September 1.

The NC Ferry system will be on a first-come, first-serve basis for all vehicles open to Hatteras, Swan Quarter, and Cedar Island pending road conditions in those receiving counties. Schedules and toll collections are suspended during the evacuation order.

Emergency services, government agencies, commercial vendors delivering essential groceries and supplies, and permanent residential traffic as indicated by purple and green stickers will be allowed on the island via air and marine traffic. The State Highway Patrol may restrict access without appropriate credentials.

Before leaving, residents and guests in this area should take precautions such as moving cars and equipment to higher ground. Please pick up potential debris that could become unsecured during the storm.

People with medical needs and unique situations are urged to consider their options. Hyde County public safety services will cease after winds reach 50 mph sustained.

Those seeking shelter may travel to North Pitt High School, 5659 N. Highway 11, Bethel, NC. This shelter will be open at 9 AM on Wednesday, September 1.

Tune in to local radio 90.1 FM on the island, the National Weather Service, and local television reports.

As seen in the past, hurricanes are unpredictable and can change with little notice. Residents and visitors need to remain vigilant and not let their guard down.

Hyde County Emergency Services continues to review the latest weather forecasts, is coordinating with the State and nearby counties, and advising citizens on possible actions to protect themselves and their property. Further updates will be issued after the 6 PM meeting.

Please make yourselves aware of the state ferry system's schedule and road conditions before making travel plans during this time and after the storm has passed.
We were there in May, the usual trek across the ferry to the island while staying at Hatteras. There is no where on that island I would feel comfortable riding out a hurricane....

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