Ocracoke was coming back to life Tuesday as Hurricane Sandy moved off bringing sunny skies.
owners were getting their businesses open as flood waters receded, but
some areas of standing water remained, which is typical after a rain
Ferries to Swan Quarter and Cedar Island will run on the
normal winter schedule for all starting Wednesday, but the
Hatteras-Ocracoke ferry is suspended until Highway 12—on both Ocracoke
and Hatteras Islands—is cleared, said Justin Gibbs, Hyde County
Emergency Management director.
The north end of Ocracoke above
the Pony Pen has sand on the road for about a 400-yard stretch from
ocean overwash, he said, and sand-moving equipment was on its way to
Ocracoke on the 4 p.m. ferry Tuesday.
“I expect one lane to be
cleared by lunchtime Wednesday,” he said from the Hyde County Emergency
Operations Center at the Community Center. Until the lane is
open, the road will be barricaded, he said.
ferry runs to Cedar Island and Swan Quarter were for Ocracoke
residents, essential personnel, and infrastructure workers only.
also said he learned that Highway 12 from Hatteras to Rodanthe was
passable late today after much work by the North Carolina Department of
Ocracoke residents uniformly felt lucky
that monster storm Hurricane Sandy only grazed Ocracoke, and there was
no major damage on the island.
“That wasn’t a hurricane,” said
Tyke Ely, of the two-day storm. “The wind howls with hurricanes. This
was like a really bad nor’easter.”
No large trees are down on the island and debris is at a minimum.
“It’s probably the cleanest I’ve seen it after a hurricane,” said Sgt. Jason Daniels of the Hyde County Sheriff’s Department.
Ocracoke Volunteer Fire Department did an assessment at 7 a.m. Tuesday
and found a few areas where water was still a bit high, but no other
Ed Fuller, Ocracoke district ranger for the National
Park Service, said beach access for vehicles would open Wednesday at
the earliest. The beaches are open for pedestrians.
County Manager Mazie Smith and commissioner Darlene Styron were
concerned that they had not heard from officials in Dare County about
the state of Highway 12. They learned about the highway damage
According to a late afternoon Monday press
release from the county, flood waters had receded to 6 to 10 inches
throughout the village, down from 18- to 24 inches.
residents could be seen Monday slogging through the water in rain
boots, hip waders, and even bare feet, which dismayed Eric Godbey, lead
paramedic on Ocracoke.
He said people should be careful of venturing into the water since it could contain contaminants.
waters also pose a danger to residents with private wells, according to
a Hyde County press release. Wesley Smith, Hyde County health director,
said those with private wells must take steps to disinfect them.
Wall, who lives in the Oyster Creek section of Ocracoke, reported that
the roads were never under water and the homes on the canals fared
“We’re higher up,” she said, explaining that the
subdivision was built up on sand. She did say that there was some
water in the center part of the subdivision where homes are not on
canals that had not been built up initially.
Chip Stevens, who
lives on Irvin Garrish Highway across from the harbor, reported that as
water receded, “cars were everywhere” as people went about.
for provisions on the island, the Variety Store opened Monday and owner
Tommy Hutcherson said he had plenty of stock for those still on the
Laura and Sean Death, who manage the Ocracoke Station at
the Beachcomber Campground, opened for business and had made fried
chicken, mashed potatoes, and green beans for sale.
Oyster Restaurant, at Old Beach Road, was the only restaurant open
Monday night and served a roomful of customers. Other restaurants
Ocracoke School was closed Monday, but opened Tuesday afternoon.
Information on the Hyde County Facebook page is updated frequently. You can find it here: http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Island-Free-Press/202448533127085?sk=wall#!/pages/Hyde-County-Public-Information/245782495454520?fref=ts