September 27, 2017

Mandatory Evacuation Remains in Effect
as Maria Slowly Moves Out to Sea

Maria remained more or less stationary for most of Wednesday, causing both soundside and oceanside flooding, however improving conditions may be on the horizon per the Wednesday afternoon update from the National Weather Service Newport/Morehead City Office.  

An elevated threat of wind and storm surge remains in effect overnight, which may include another foot or so of soundside inundation north of Ocracoke. A high threat of rip currents will also be in effect until the end of the week.

A Tropical Storm Warning remains in effect for Hatteras and Ocracoke Islands, however these warnings may be discontinued by Wednesday night.

As of 5 p.m., Hurricane Maria was located 205 miles ENE of Cape Hatteras with maximum sustained winds of 75 mph. Maria was moving NNE at 7 mph, and this motion is expected to continue tonight.

Maria is forecast to accelerate her east-northeastward trajectory on Thursday through Friday.

Evacuation for Hatteras Island

The mandatory evacuation for visitors on Hatteras and Ocracoke Islands remains in effect. Dare County officials will continue to closely monitor conditions and coordinate with NCDOT to determine when road conditions will allow reentry for Hatteras Island visitors.

“NCDOT is making excellent progress clearing sand and water from Highway 12, but the next high tide cycle is expected to bring additional ocean overwash and soundside flooding that will create hazardous driving conditions in some areas,” said Dare County Emergency Management Director Drew Pearson. “While we all want visitors to return to Hatteras Island as quickly as possible, safety is the top priority.”

The next update regarding reentry for visitors to Hatteras Island will be issued no later than 11:00 a.m. on Thursday morning, September 28 following a meeting of the Dare County Control Group.

Evacuation for Ocracoke Island

For Ocracoke Island, Hyde County officials will continue to coordinate with the NCDOT to determine when the evacuation order for visitors can be lifted. Officials will be evaluating the road conditions and the NCDOT Ferry Division will conduct a test run tomorrow morning, if conditions allow.

The Ocracoke Deputy Control Group will meet as soon as that information is available. Officials are cautiously optimistic that ferry operations and road conditions will permit reentry as soon as tomorrow afternoon.

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