downgraded to a Category 1 storm at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, but it is still
forecast to strengthen again and perhaps reach Category 3 as it aims
for the North Carolina coast.
Eastern North Carolina is in the crosshairs of the National Hurricane
Center’s cone of probability today, perhaps coming ashore on Saturday.
Despite the consensus of models, which bring the storm very close to
Cape Hatteras, the Hurricane Center warns that its forecast models this
far from landfall can be 200 to 300 miles in error.
Several models take the storm offshore of Cape Hatteras, and the trend
in the models over the past few days has been to move the track farther
As of the 5 p.m. update, the storm was back down to 90 miles an
hour, but it was forecast to strengthen as it pulls away from
Hispaniola and rakes the Bahamas. It was moving west-northwest at 9 mph.
Forecasters still say upper level conditions are perfect for
strengthening with little wind shear, and the hurricane will continue
to travel over very warm waters.
Hyde County emergency management officials have called for a mandatory
evacuation of all visitors to Ocracoke Island, beginning at 5 a.m.
Wednesday morning and a mandatory evacuation of residents beginning at
a.m. Thursday morning.
Dare County Emergency Operations Committee met at 5 p.m. this afternoon
and was briefed on the storm but did not take any action, according to
Dorothy Toolan, the county’s public information manager.
Toolan said the group will meet again at 5 p.m. on Wednesday to
consider any action for Hatteras Island and the rest of Dare County.
The National Park Service will close its Ocracoke campground and Silver
Lake marina at noon on Wednesday, and the visitor center will close at
5 p.m. Park public information coordinator Cyndy Holda said
decisions will be made on seashore beaches and campgrounds and other
facilities on Hatteras and Bodie Island on Wednesday.
Swells from the storm are expected to begin reaching Hatteras and
Ocracoke on Wednesday, and the National Weather Service says there will
be an elevated risk of rip currents beginning Wednesday night.
Rental companies are beginning to prepare the renters currently in
cottages for a possible evacuation and get their houses that are empty
ready for the storm.
All of the major companies have updates on their websites with advice
to both current visitors and those expecting to arrive this weekend. At
least one company is telling renters to prepare tomorrow for a possible
evacuation on Thursday.
The companies are being flooded with inquires from visitors who are
coming in for next week’s rentals. Their advice is only to
abreast of information on their sites and from the news media on the
progress of the storm.
If there is an evacuation on Hatteras, it is unlikely that the weekend
renters could arrive before Sunday, and even that depends of the
storm’s track and how much damage it causes on Hatteras and Ocracoke
and Highway 12.
INFORMATION ON OCRACOKE EVACUATION
There will be state of emergency declared for Ocracoke and the Hyde
County mainland, effective at 5 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 24.
A mandatory evacuation has been issued for all visitors to Ocracoke and
a voluntary evacuation has been issued for all residents of Ocracoke
beginning at 5 a.m. on Wednesday.
There will be a mandatory evacuation for residents on Ocracoke,
beginning at 5 a.m., Thursday, Aug. 25.
During the state of emergency, the North Carolina Ferry Division will
be on a first-come, first -served basis for all vehicles going 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 to travel to
Ocracoke on Wednesday, Aug. 24, only via air and ferry or boat. Local
and state law enforcement may restrict access without appropriate