state of emergency for all of Hyde County and mandatory visitor
evacuation of Ocracoke Island has been lifted. This morning NCDOT
officials confirmed that road conditions were acceptable for travel and
the NCDOT Ferry Division operated a successful test run. Based on that
information, the Ocracoke Deputy Control Group recommended that the
visitor evacuation order be canceled. The Hyde County Board of
Commissioners immediately called for a vote and issued a proclamation
lifting the state of emergency and visitor evacuation order. The Cedar
Island and Swan Quarter ferry routes will resume scheduled service
immediately, while the Hatteras route will resume service at 1pm, when
Hatteras Island reopens to visitors. Visitors coming via Hatteras will
not be allowed past the Bonner Bridge checkpoint until Dare County’s
evacuation order is lifted at 1 pm.
Visitors returning to Ocracoke should be aware that there will be some
areas of standing water on theroadways and drive very cautiously.
Additionally, saltwater can cause damage to vehicles. The threat
of dangerous surf and strong rip currents is very high along the
beaches of Outer Banks and they are expected to persist throughout the
weekend. Individuals visiting the beaches of Ocracoke need to be aware
that National Park Service lifeguard services have ended for the season
and be extremely careful if you are planning on entering the water.
If caught in a rip current remain calm. Don’t fight the current. Swim
in a direction following the shoreline. When out of the current, swim
back to shore. If tired, float or tread water until out of the rip
current. If you are unable to escape, face the shore and call or wave
Shore break occurs when waves break directly on the beach. The most
common injuries associated with strong shore break are neck and back
injuries, which most often occur when the powerful surf throws a
swimmer or surfer head first into the bottom. It is extremely important
to protect your head and neck whenever you are in breaking waves by
keeping your hands in front of you at all times.