July 2, 2014
Voluntary evacuation is in progress on Ocracoke
By CONNIE LEINBACH
and Ryan Wentz of York, Pa., were disappointed Wednesday afternoon at
having to cut short their week vacation on Ocracoke because of the
pending arrival of Tropical Storm Arthur.
“After the winter we
had up in Pennsylvania, we were so looking forward to Ocracoke,” Wentz
said as they packed up their children and dog at their rental house to
make the trek home. “This is our fifth visit and the first time we’ve
had anything like this.”
Hyde County issued a county-wide state of emergency at 12:30 today and a voluntary evacuation at 2 p.m. today.
wanted to put people on notice that it’s a serious situation out there
and to make their own decisions about leaving,” said Bill Rich, Hyde
County manager about the voluntary status.
The next step would be mandatory evacuation for visitors, but Rich doesn’t think that will be necessary.
is) off the coast far enough, and it has constricted in size,” he said
about the developing storm. “It’s almost 60 miles off now, but it was
around 11 miles off the coast yesterday.”
Rich said the island will start to feel tropical-storm winds on Thursday night around 9 into Friday morning.
to a press release issued by Hyde County, a state of emergency helps
the county acquire state resources and assistance if necessary. It also
temporarily suspends tolling for anyone leaving Ocracoke via Pamlico
Sound ferries, which assists voluntary evacuation measures.
Currently, there are no restrictions associated with this state of emergency.
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
In addition, ferry tolls on the Ocracoke-Cedar Island
and Ocracoke-Swan Quarter runs will be waived until the evacuation
order is lifted.
The most recent forecast from the
National Hurricane Center shows that, as of now, Ocracoke is expected
to encounter sustained winds of tropical storm force beginning
between 9 and 10 p.m. on Thursday and subsiding by 10
a.m. Friday. The size of the storm is projected to constrict as it
approaches the North Carolina coast. The outer periphery of
hurricane force winds will pass roughly 40 miles east of Ocracoke. Peak
winds are expected around 1 a.m. Friday with sustained winds
of 60 mph at that time. Storm surge is still projected between zero to
3 feet above ground.
Residents and visitors are asked to monitor
weather reports and take necessary precautions. Go
to ReadyNC.org for ideas on emergency supply kits and more
information about hurricane preparedness.
The Ocracoke Civic and
Business Association has rescheduled activities for the Ocracoke
Independence Day celebration to Saturday, July 5, when the
weather is expected to clear up.
The following are the changes thus far:
Donald Davis storytelling is cancelled
NPS Pony Pens program
No Classic Car Show
Postponed until July 5:
Sand Sculpture Contest
Fig Cake Bake-Off
Parade (registration place may change)
Pirates on Stage (one performance only at 1 p.m. Community Square)
Evening celebration/Square Dance/Dance Party with the Rockers at Community Square
Lighthouse being open for viewing
Flag raising ceremony