Avon, Buxton, Frisco, and Hatteras village will begin on Thursday,
Sept. 15, at 7 a.m. via ferry service from Swan Quarter or Cedar
Visitors traveling to these villages will be allowed to enter the
island only by ferry service originating in Swan Quarter or Cedar
Island through Ocracoke to the ferry docks at Hatteras
Visitors will not be permitted on the emergency ferry route from Stumpy
Point to Rodanthe.
The decision to allow visitors back to the southern villages was made
today by the county, and it was not without controversy.
“It was a situation of damned if you do, and damned if you don’t,” said
county manager Bobby Outten about the deliberations.
Allen Burrus of Hatteras village, vice-chairman of the county’s Board
of Commissioners, said he had been “chewed out” for days by folks on
both sides of the visitor re-entry quandary.
On one hand, rental management companies were concerned that a negative
“visitor experience” would hurt the island in the future – that
visitors would have to wait in line for ferries or couldn’t get ferry
reservations or wouldn’t find the needed support service, such as
restaurants and supermarkets, when they arrived.
On the other hand, many small businesses had already laid off employees
or were about to. They think that even if just a small
of visitors arrive through Ocracoke, it will help them keep people
And Outten said that’s what the decision boiled down to.
“We weren’t going to be throwing our working people under the bus,”
He noted that employees that have already gone on unemployment or are
about to would find their benefits running out in February, a good two
months before the tourist season starts.
This way, he said, employees can go back to work and file for benefits,
as they usually do at the end of the season.
Outten said that the county officials involved in making the decision
understood that the amount of business that returns to the southern
half of the island might be less than what it might have been.
“It may not help businesses, but it will help workers,” he said.
Island Free Press Facebook page was immediate and all over the board
when we posted the initial news about visitor re-entry a few hours ago.
Here is a typical exchange.
Well, we only have a week down there and it looks like most of it will
be spent waiting on/riding on ferries? That's no fun,” wrote one
“At least you get the opportunity to go. Our vacation was scheduled for
8/27 in Rodanthe. I would gladly take your vacation off your hands if
the ferry is too much of an imposition for you,” replied another.
Visitors will not be allowed to travel north of Avon on Highway 12,
since the villages of Rodanthe, Waves, and Salvo have had too much
damage to deal with tourism now.
The ferry route to Ocracoke from Swan Quarter or Cedar Island requires
a reservation and costs $15 for a vehicle and more for larger vehicles
To make a mandatory reservation, call 1-800-293-3779 (press 2) or
online at www.ncferry.org
Visitors are encouraged to make ferry reservations as soon as possible
for both their departure trip AND return trip.
A spokesperson for the Ferry Division said tonight that a ferry might
be added at Cedar Island and that the Hatteras Inlet ferry schedule
would be increased from its current scaled back crossings.
The Stumpy Point to Rodanthe ferry will continue to be reserved for
residents who have to go off the island and return, non-resident
property owners, such services as trash trucks, and vendors supplying
Between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 4:30 a.m., the Ferry Division will
give boarding priority on the emergency ferries to vehicles carrying
essential commodities. Commercial vehicles are urged to use
overnight ferry trips in order to avoid congestion.
Visitors with upcoming travel plans for the villages of Rodanthe,
Waves, and Salvo are advised by Dare County that visitor re-entry will
not begin until a future date, sometime after Thursday, Sept.
plans to Rodanthe, Waves, and Salvo over the next couple of weeks
should seek accommodations elsewhere in Dare County, north of Oregon
Inlet. If you need help finding lodging, contact the Outer Banks
Visitors Bureau at 1-877-629-4386 or visit www.outerbanks.
The North Carolina Department of Transportation has said that the
temporary repairs to Highway 12 at the S-curves and on Pea Island
should be finished about the first of October.
latest ferry schedules follows. There could be updates in the next
day or so. You can check for the latest on the “ferry schedule”
button at the top of the IFP Hurricane Irene aftermath page.
NCDOT Ferry Division is offering 16 departures from each side to
assist with the re-entry process for Hatteras Island, on the
following schedule beginning 5 a.m., Friday, Sept. 9:
at 12:30 a.m., 2 a.m., 3:30 a.m., 5 a.m., 6:30 a.m., 8 a.m., 9:30
a.m., 11 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 2 p.m., 3:30 p.m., 5 p.m. 6:30
8 p.m., 9:30 p.m., 11 p.m.
at midnight, 1:30 a.m., 3 a.m., 4:30 a.m., 6 a.m., 7:30 a.m., 9 a.m.,
10:30 a.m., 12 p.m., 1:30 p.m., 3 p.m., 4:30 p.m., 6 p.m., 7:30 p.m.,
9 p.m., and 10:30 p.m.
the hours of 10 p.m. and 4:30 a.m., the Ferry Division will give
boarding priority to vehicles carrying essential commodities.
Commercial vehicles are urged to use the overnight ferry trips in
order to avoid congestion with the re-entry of residents.
Cedar Island at 7 a.m., 10, 1 p.m. and 3:30; and
Ocracoke at 7:30 a.m., 10, 1 p.m. and 3:30.
Swan Quarter at 7 a.m., 10 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 4:30; and
Departing Ocracoke at 6:30 a.m., 9:30, 12:45 p.m. and 4.
Hatteras Inlet ferry is running on a reduced schedule to accommodate
Hatteras Island residents who choose to return through Ocracoke via
the ferries from Swan Quarter or Cedar Island.
the Hatteras village docks on the even hour. The first ferry
at 6 a.m. and the last at midnight. Ferries leave Ocracoke on
the odd hour, beginning at 7 a.m. and ending with the last trip at 11
Island is open to all, and the Swan Quarter and Cedar Island ferries
are by reservation.
Island is open only to residents and non-resident property
ferry reservations and information, contact the NCDOT Ferry Division