Control Group has ordered a mandatory evacuation for all visitors in
the county, beginning at 8 a.m. Thursday.
The control group met this evening after the 5 p.m. update on Hurricane
Irene from the National Hurricane Center.
At 5 p.m., the Category 3 storm had winds of 120 mph and was moving
northwest at 12 miles an hour. Forecasters expect it take a turn to the
north-northwest and then north on Thursday.
It is also expected to intensify, perhaps to a Category 4 storm with
winds 131-155 mph by late tomorrow.
More troubling for Hatteras and Ocracoke is the fact that the forecast
models, which had been moving the storm to the east began
it back to the west this afternoon.
On the projected Hurricane Center track, which can be up to 200 miles
in error three days out, the eye of Irene could pass close to Cape
Hatteras on Saturday afternoon.
In a media release after this evening’s meeting, Dare County Emergency
Management urged all visitors to make preparations and leave the
area. Visitors are advised to take all personal belongings
them during evacuation. Other preparation steps are available
Although the mandatory evacuation order is for all Dare County
visitors, residents are advised to take proper precautions and make
general storm preparations. This effort should include
all loose items outdoors. Monitor local news outlets for
advisories from the National Weather Service and state and local
emergency management officials.
The Dare County Control Group will meet again on Thursday, Aug. 25
after the 5 p.m. storm advisory has been issued by the National
Hurricane Center. Further evacuations should be anticipated
Hurricane Irene moves closer to the Outer Banks.
At this time, Dare County is issuing no new re-entry
stickers. The previously issued stickers, for 2008/2009, are
valid. Residents can also use a North Carolina driver’s
showing a Dare County address. Property owners may
Dare County tax bill with proper identification for re-entry.
A high rip current risk remains in effect, through Thursday evening,
south of Rodanthe as swells from the hurricane continue to affect the
Dare County Schools, which had been scheduled to open tomorrow, will be
closed on Thursday, Aug. 25, and Friday, Aug. 26. Makeup days will be
on Saturday, Sept. 10, and Wednesday, Nov. 23. Both makeup days will be
half-days. All after-school activities are cancelled for Thursday and
Friday, including the After-School Enrichment Program. Twelve-month
employees should report on time Thursday.
Dare County garbage pickup will be done on a regular basis through
Friday, Aug. 26.
Updates and bulletins will be issued on an as needed basis and will be
available on www.darenc.com
and Government Access Channel 20.
PARK SERVICE INFORMATION
All National Park Service campgrounds -- Ocracoke, Frisco, Cape Point
and Oregon Inlet -- closed at noon today, Wednesday, Aug. 24.
Ocracoke Campground reservation system has been temporarily suspended.
The Silver Lake Marina NPS docks also closed at noon
The Ocracoke Visitor Center, Hatteras Island, Bodie Island and Wright
Brothers and Fort Raleigh Visitor Centers will remain open until
close of business today, then will remain closed until further
notice. Previously scheduled evening programs for Aug. 24 are
Lifeguarded beach operations at Ocracoke, Buxton, and Coquina Beach
will close at 5 p.m. today, and remain closed until further notice.
The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse will close at 6 p.m. today, until further
notice. All park special programs scheduled for Founder’s
Thursday, August 25, have been cancelled. Regularly scheduled
Fall interpretive programming will resume after the storm passes the
The Flags Over Hatteras event, scheduled for August 25-28, has been
postponed until further notice due to the threat of Hurricane
In preparation for the storm, Ocracoke beaches were closed to off-road
vehicles by 6 p.m. today, and all other beaches in the national
seashore will close to off-road vehicles by 6 p.m. on Thursday, Aug.
The Dare County Control Group has activated the Joint Information
Section (JIS) in response to Hurricane Irene. All information
regarding local government agencies in Dare County will be released
through this source effective today, Wednesday, Aug. 24.
The JIS is a collaborative organization that encompasses the six
municipal governments in Dare County, the National Park Service, the
Dare County Sheriff’s Office, and the County of Dare, all of which have
representatives on the Dare County Control Group. The JIS is
operated in the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) in Manteo and managed
by Dare County Emergency Management.
Outlets for information include the following:
County website at www.darenc.com
20, Charter Cable Channel 20
e-mailed and faxed
to local, regional, and national press outlets
Public Phone Inquiry Line at 252-475-5655
Other Important Numbers:
Carolina: 1-877-DOT-4YOU (1-877-638-4968)
Highway Patrol: 1-800-441-6127
- NC Ferry
Carolina Power: 1-866-DOM-HELP (1-866-366-4357)
Attorney General (Price Gouging): 919-716-6000 (Outside NC)
877-566-7226 (Inside NC)
The public and media should dial 911 in case of emergency only.