residents and vendors to have priority
Dare County’s decision to
allow visitors on
southern Hatteras Island through Ocracoke via the ferries from Cedar
Island and Swan Quarter has created an enormous demand for ferry
reservations, especially on the weekends.
And the demand for reservation has created issues with vital services
and vendors having access to Ocracoke and for residents needing to
leave the island for medical appointments, according to a media release
issued today by Hyde County.
The release says that residents and vendors providing essential
services will get priority on the ferries.
“The NC Ferry Division recognizes the priority of Ocracoke residents
with appointments and will make them a priority on the daily sound
class ferry runs,” the statement said.
Residents who need to leave the island for a medical appointment are
instructed to call the ferry operations office in Ocracoke at
252-928-5311 and ask for Ray Waller or Albert O’Neal. For return trips,
they should call the operations office in Swan Quarter at 252-926-6021.
“Mail and other essential services are a priority for the NC Ferry
Division for the residents of those affected by the storm,” Harold
Thomas, assistant director of operations for the Ferry Division, said
in the release. “They will have top priority on the Swan Quarter route
and they will also have priority on the Stumpy Point ferry. The N.C.
DOT Ferry Division is committed to the residents of Dare and Hyde
The Stumpy Point-Rodanthe route is an emergency ferry that is available
only to residents of Hatteras and Ocracoke, non-resident property
owners, critical personnel, supply trucks, and insurance adjusters.
Visitors are not allowed on the emergency ferries.
“People who live on Ocracoke will get on the ferry,” Lucy Wallace,
spokeswoman for the Ferry Division, said today about the newly issued
information for Ocracoke residents. .
“We have added as many runs as we can and are moving as much as
She said the ferry division has not added personnel during the
“We can’t just add people because our workers have to be trained and
qualified by the Coast Guard,” Wallace said. “We have to adhere to the
Coast Guard regulations and crew members cannot work longer than
There are only four sound-class ferries that traverse the Pamlico
Sound, she said. But a new one, the Swan Quarter, is due to be
delivered to the Ferry Division around Nov. 1.
An 11 p.m. ferry from Cedar Island was added, along with its return
from Ocracoke at 1:30 a.m. These late runs will be in effect
Friday and Saturday nights only until Highway 12 on Hatteras Island
re-opens, she said.
Wallace said that the Swan Quarter and Cedar Island ferries are fairly
well booked on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, through October 29, but
she said there are still some spaces available on the weekends, and
there are spots available on both ferries during the week.
She urged folks wanting to get to Ocracoke and to Hatteras to keeping
checking with the ferry reservations center. She said the
division is seeing reservations cancelled on a regular basis.
Hyde County says the Ferry Division advises grocery vendors and
Ocracoke residents to use the Stumpy Point ferry when possible.
for the latest information and to make reservations.
For reservations, please call the Reservation Call Center at
800-293-3779, and press 2.
The latest ferry schedule can be found on the Hurricane Irene Aftermath
Page. Click on the button on the right at the top of the page.
for this article was also provided by Connie Leinbach.)