On Wednesday evening, the Hyde County Board of Commissioners voted to allow visitors back on Ocracoke Island on December 2, 2019.
Ocracoke Island has been under an evacuation order since September 4, which was two days before Hurricane Dorian made landfall at Cape Hatteras.
Originally, the Ocracoke Control Group recommended lifting the evacuation on November 22, however, the past weekend’s nor’easter delayed the opening of N.C. Highway 12.
Per a press release from Hyde County, due to the damage caused by the nor’easter, repair work to N.C. 12 is expected to take at least an additional two weeks to complete. With this uncertainty, the Ocracoke Control Group felt that the benchmark of having N.C. 12 completed before allowing re-entry should be taken out of the decision-making process. The control group has therefore recommended to the board of commissioners that the evacuation order for visitors be lifted on December 2, 2019, regardless of any other setbacks.
After the evacuation order is lifted, visitors will be immediately allowed to access Ocracoke Island.
Ferry operations will return to the paid reservation system normally in place. Reconstruction and debris removal will continue to take place for the foreseeable future. In addition, visitors should be advised that there are limited lodging accommodations, food service, gas availability and other services normally available to the visiting public, and should plan accordingly.