Hurricane Irene Aftermath
September 16, 2011 Facebook TwitterMore...

CORRECTION: Visitors to southern Hatteras can still
enter by ferry  -- and make reservations

By IRENE NOLAN


Earlier this evening, Dare County Emergency Management issued Hurricane Irene Advisory #35.

The headline on the advisory is, “Dare County Public Official Evacuation Advisory Mandatory Prohibition of Hatteras Island Visitors Without Ferry Reservations.”

I called county manager Bobby Outten to ask him what was different or had changed.

I posted a story that said that Dare County officials had “changed” the policy to call for mandatory reservations and that visitors who did not have reservations could no longer not make them.

Apparently, I misunderstood Outten’s explanation of why this new advisory was issued.

Actually, nothing has changed.

Visitors can still come to the southern Hatteras villages by way of the Swan Quarter or Cedar Island ferries from the mainland and through Ocracoke.

The only change is that reservations are now “mandatory,” according to county policy and that “mandatory” ferry reservations are the only way for visitors to re-enter Hatteras.

Visitors should not consider coming by plane or boat, Outten said in a phone call later this evening.

Ferry reservations are sold out, especially on weekends, for weeks to come.

However, Outten said that if someone cancels, a visitor could still get a reservation.

The idea he said is that the island’s infrastructure and supply line can support only so many additional people.

That number will be limited by the number who are able to obtain the “mandatory” reservation.

As they were before this evening.

Of course, this tweaking of the language of the visitor re-entry policy, for the second time this week, may make it easier for those who cannot get “mandatory” reservations collect their claims with trip insurance companies.
Here is the entire text of the latest Dare County advisory:

“Due to changing weather conditions that have suspended the emergency ferry service between Stumpy Point and Rodanthe, Dare County has placed a mandatory prohibition on visitors without ferry reservations to Avon, Buxton, Frisco and Hatteras Village.
 
There are supplies, facilities and infrastructure to safely accommodate visitors currently on the island and for those with ferry reservations; however, suspension of the emergency ferry service has compromised the supply lines and other infrastructure needed to preserve and protect public safety for additional guests who cannot secure access via the ferry service from Swan Quarter and Cedar Island. 

Once operational, the emergency ferry, from Stumpy Point to Rodanthe, will only transport critical personnel, insurance adjusters, vendors carrying essential commodities, residents, and non-resident property owners.  Due to the heavy traffic demand on the Stumpy Point to Rodanthe ferries, visitors will not be able to be accommodated on the emergency ferry route. 

For updated ferry information, call 1-800-293-3779. “

Island Free Press regrets the error and is happy to set the record straight. 

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