Despite some additional ocean overwash due to a
low pressure system looming off the coast, the NCDOT North Carolina
Ferry System reported on Wednesday afternoon that plans are still in
place to reopen the Hatteras-Ocracoke ferry to the public on Friday,
“Weather and tides permitting, we still hope to
have the road open on Friday, with the Hatteras-Ocracoke ferry route
resuming service at the same time,” said the North Carolina Ferry
System in an online statement. “We should have a more definitive answer
on timing sometime tomorrow.”
The ferry has been closed since Hurricane
Florence brushed the Outer Banks on September 13 and 14, causing
oceanside flooding that affected more than a mile of the northern
section of Highway 12 on Ocracoke Island. Portions of the pavement were
flooded and subsequently damaged, while a large section of the
oceanfront dune bordering the highway was wiped out.
Immediately after Florence impacted the area, an
emergency contract was initiated with Barnhill Contracting Company of
Kitty Hawk, N.C., and crews have been hard at work removing sand and
debris, and repairing the road.
Once the road has been repaired and has reopened,
the crews will then concentrate on reestablishing the dune line that
protects Highway 12 – a process that is scheduled to be completed by
The Hatteras-Ocracoke ferry has been making
limited runs to haul equipment and crews to the repair sites along N.C.
Highway 12. Currently, visitors and residents can access Ocracoke
Island via the Swan Quarter Ferry and the Cedar Island ferry, which
have both reopened to the public.
Hyde County has also started running tram service
on Ocracoke Island for walk-on ferry passengers, with trams cycling
around the village every 30 minutes. The trams are free and available
to the public.