July 2, 2014
UPDATE: Mandatory evacuation
for Hatteras as hurricane flags fly
By IRENE NOLAN
County issued a mandatory evacuation for Hatteras Island late this
afternoon as Tropical Storm Arthur strengthened and hurricane watches
were changed to warnings along the eastern North Carolina coast.
the 5 p.m. update from the Hurricane Center, Arthur was a strong
tropical storm and still off the Florida coast. However, it was
only four miles per hour from becoming a hurricane with the winds up to
70 mph. Pressure was up to 997 millibars, and the storm continued to
move north at 7 mph.
The storm was much better organized this
afternoon and forecasters said the wind field was expanding.
Further intensification is expected later tonight and tomorrow and
Arthur is still forecast to pass very close to Cape Hatteras in the
early morning Friday as a Category 1 hurricane with winds of 85 mph.
Dare County Control Group met at 5:30 and issued a mandatory evacuation
order for residents and visitors on Hatteras Island beginning at 5 a.m.
Thursday. After 5 a.m. Thursday, no access will be allowed to
The county advises all Hatteras Island
residents and visitors to evacuate as expediently as possible during
daylight hours on Thursday before the effects of Tropical Storm Arthur
begin to bring high winds, rough seas, dangerous rip currents, and the
potential for water and sand overwash on Highway 12.
A State of
Emergency has been issued for all of Dare County with the only
restriction being the mandatory evacuation of Hatteras Island.
should evacuate with all personal belongings and follow instructions
offered by their property management company.
evacuating to areas north of Dare County are encouraged to travel
westbound on Highway 64 to Interstate 95. Evacuating through the
rural areas to the west of Dare County will help avoid traffic backups
and congestion that may prolong evacuation by traveling northbound
through the Hampton Roads portion of Virginia.
Hatteras and Ocracoke are expected to experience high seas, heavy rain, high winds, coastal flooding, and rip currents.
storm force winds are forecast to start affecting Hatteras and Ocracoke
in the evening on Thursday. Hurricane force winds are
expected to arrive after midnight and continue into the early morning
hours of Friday. Sustained winds of 83 mph are forecast with
gusts to 104.
The winds will begin from the southeast and shift
to the east and northeast then shift to the north and northwest as the
storm passes Cape Hatteras.
Seas across the coastal waters will build to 15 to 25 feet.
Breaking waves of 16 to 17 feet are expected with possible major beach erosion on south-facing beaches.
the wind shifts, the storm surge from the Pamlico Sound on lower
Hatteras and Ocracoke is expected to be moderate, causing coastal
flooding of 2 to 4 feet on the back side of the islands.
The storm will accelerate to the northeast as it passes Cape Hatteras on Friday.
The local NWS weather service office in Newport's website is http://www.weather.gov/mhx/. The National Hurricane Center can be found at http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/.
To receive email alerts directly from Dare County Emergency Management, visit www.darecountyem.com,
and follow @DareCoEM on Twitter. The Dare County Emergency
Operations Center will be operating throughout the storm and may
be reached at 252-475-5655 or visit www.darenc.com for updated information.
National Weather Service has issued a Hurricane Warning for all of Dare
County which means the area should anticipate near hurricane
The Dare County Control Group serves as the
decision making body for Emergency Management and consists of
representatives of Dare County, the Sheriff’s Office, the National Park
Service, and the towns of Duck, Kill Devil Hills, Kitty Hawk, Manteo,
Nags Head, and Southern Shores.
Bulletins from the Joint
Information Section will be issued as conditions warrant and the next
scheduled update will be Thursday, July 3 by 10:00 a.m.
on the most recent data from the National Hurricane Center, Hyde County
officials have declared a county-wide state of emergency as well as a
voluntary evacuation for Ocracoke Island. Both became effective at 2
JULY 4 EVENTS
of the approaching tropical storm Arthur, the Avon Fireworks Committee,
Avon Property Owners’ Association, Koru Village, Pyrotecnico, and Dare
County have made a joint decision to reschedule the July 4 fireworks
show on the Avon Fishing Pier, tentatively to Monday, July 7 at 9 p.m.
storm is expected to pass close to Cape Hatteras on Friday, July 4 with
winds and rain that would prohibit the fireworks show from taking
Because of the weekend turnover in rental houses with
visitors coming to the island, a decision was made to postpone the
fireworks show until Monday to ensure that all residents and guests
have ample time to prepare a proper celebration of Independence Day,
complete with fireworks display, as planned.
Fireworks Committee will reconvene on Friday, July 4 to confirm these
plans after the storm has passed. Should adjustments be made to
the tentative plans, there will be another news release on Friday
The Fireworks Committee and Avon Property Owners’
Association would like to thank the National Park Service, Koru
Village, Dare County, Pyrotecnico, and all of the event sponsors for
their flexibility, cooperation and support.
July 4 events in Hatteras village have been cancelled.
Cancellations: Donald Davis storytelling, Ocracoke ponies, and classic car show.
until the July 5: Sand Sculpture Contest, Fig Cake Bake-Off, Parade
(registration place may change), Pirates on Stage (one performance only
at 1 p.m.), Evening celebration/Square Dance/Dance Party with the
Rockers at Community Square.
Pending: Lighthouse opening for viewing, flag raising ceremony.
A revised schedule of times and venues will be posted when available.
NATIONAL PARK SERVICE
Outer Banks Group National Parks, Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Fort
Raleigh National Historic Site, and Wright Brothers National Memorial,
has begun the implementation of the Park’s Hurricane Plan in
anticipation of the approach of Tropical Storm Arthur. The
National Weather Service is predicting that the effects of Tropical
Storm Arthur will impact the Outer Banks by Thursday, July 3, with
storm conditions, possibly continuing through Saturday, July 5, 2014.
In anticipation of this weather event, the following NPS facilities closed today, Wednesday, July 2:
NPS campgrounds -- Ocracoke, Frisco, Cape Point and Oregon Inlet --
closed at noon today and will remain closed until further notice.
The Ocracoke campground reservation system has been temporarily
- Silver Lake Marina NPS docks closed at noon Wednesday, July 2.
and Hatteras Island NPS Visitor Centers closed at noon today and
will remain closed until further notice. Bodie Island
Visitor Center, Wright Brothers National Memorial and Fort Raleigh
National Historic Site will be closed Thursday and Friday, July 3 and
4. Previously scheduled evening programs are cancelled as of
today until further notice.
- Lifeguard beach operations at Ocracoke, Buxton, and Coquina will close at noon today until further notice.
Cape Hatteras Lighthouse closed at noon today and will remain closed
until further notice. All park special programs scheduled have
been cancelled until further notice.
Bodie Island Lighthouse will close at 6:30 p.m. today and the climbing
reservation system will be temporarily suspended beginning Thursday.
- All NPS beaches will be closed to off-road vehicles by 9 p.m. today and will remain closed until further notice.
Buxton and Ocracoke Off-Road Vehicle Permit offices closed at noon
today. The Bodie Island Off-Road Vehicle Permit office will close
at 4:30 p.m. today.
ROADS AND FERRIES
N.C. Department of Transportation is keeping a close eye on Tropical
Storm Arthur and making preparations to ensure it is ready to
respond if needed. Crews in the coastal divisions are checking
equipment to make sure it is working properly, topping off their fuel
tanks and staging equipment as necessary prior to the storm’s arrival.
the Outer Banks, crews are staging front-end loaders, motor graders and
bulldozers along Highway 12 in Ocracoke, Rodanthe and Pea Island, south
of the Bonner Bridge, in Dare and Hyde counties. This is in
addition to other equipment already at the maintenance yards in Manteo,
Ocracoke and Buxton. NCDOT has more equipment ready to mobilize if
needed, as well as employees prepared to patrol Highway 12 during and
after the storm.
A voluntary evacuation order was issued for
Ocracoke this afternoon. The North Carolina Department of
Transportation's Ferry Division started round-the-clock service between
Ocracoke and Hatteras islands at 2 p.m. today. Service will continue
until weather conditions make it unsafe to operate.
addition, ferry tolls on the Ocracoke-Cedar Island and Ocracoke-Swan
Quarter runs will be waived until the evacuation order is lifted.
inspected emergency ferry docks in Rodanthe and Stumpy Point to ensure
the sites are ready if needed. The larger 180-foot ferries are already
in use nearby at the Hatteras-Ocracoke route in case an emergency ferry
route is needed once the storm passes.
The ferries cannot safely
operate once winds reach about 30-35 miles per hour. The Ferry Division
expects brief service interruptions as Tropical Storm Arthur proceeds
up the North Carolina Coast, starting Thursday afternoon on the
southern routes and lasting into the afternoon Friday on the most
provide real-time information about travel conditions through its
feeds. As the storm approaches, the department will
send out tweets about road closures, flooding, ferry cancellations
and evacuation routes. Valuable travel information is also available
through the department’s other social media tools – Facebook and
You can access social media feeds and other summer storm information
on the NCDOT website.
resources on the website include: