Shoaling continues to shut
down Hatteras-Ocracoke ferry
using the Hatteras-Ocracoke ferry route could encounter suspensions and
weight restrictions due to extreme shoaling of the Hatteras Inlet
The shallow channel situation has created a safety
issue that requires constant monitoring by the N.C. Department of
Transportation’s Ferry Division.
For the past several weeks, operations have been suspended daily during
ferry was aground in the channel on Wednesday, Dec. 26, for almost four
hours until it was freed by the rising tide. A ferry also ran aground
The shoaling in the channel has been an ongoing
issue, but Hurricane Sandy, two back-to-back northeasters and several
winter wind storms have contributed to the problem.
Army Corps of Engineers is working to resolve the situation, as the
channel falls under federal jurisdiction. A dredging contract has been
issued by the USAC to address the channel shoaling and work is
commencing, but it could be several weeks before the dredging
alleviates the problem.
“Visitors to our area need to be
apprised of the situation,” stressed Ferry Director Harold Thomas. He
is calling upon local residents, businesses, restaurants, motels and
vacation home rental agencies to assist in spreading the word.
people where they need to go safely is our top priority and we want to
get the word out that conditions at the inlet can change in an
instant,” Thomas said.
Travelers can sign-up to receive
messages on Twitter by going to www.twitter.com/ncdot_ferry or call the
Hatteras terminal at 252-986-2353 for updates.