The Ocracoke Express passenger ferry’s last day for the season will now be Monday, Sept. 2, to allow the boat to embark to safe harbor ahead of any impacts of Hurricane Dorian.
The announcement came Sunday evening from the Hyde County Board of Commissioners, which enacted a state of emergency beginning Monday at 5 a.m.
Local officials will meet again on Monday at 1 p.m. to discuss the forecast and any additional emergency protective measures necessitated by the weather conditions.
“Individuals should remain vigilant and review their household hurricane and evacuation plans to ensure they are prepared to take action if necessary,” Hyde County Emergency Management said in a news release. “It is strongly recommended that Hyde County residents and nonresident property owners have their preparations completed by Monday at sunset and ready to take action as early as Tuesday.”
The National Hurricane Center has initiated probabilistic surge mapping and low lying areas of Hyde County, including Ocracoke Island, could start receiving storm surge of greater than one one foot above the ground within the next three three days. This is well ahead of the Dorian’s arrival, which is projected to occur on Thursday into Friday, and these values will only increase over the coming days. Please keep in mind that highways along the coast frequently suffer overwash during periods of surge and everyone should make their evacuation plans accordingly.
In addition, the Weather Prediction Center has forecast six to 10 inches of precipitation to accumulate across mainland Hyde County over the next seven days and 10-15 inches to accumulate across Ocracoke Island over the same time frame.
The Hyde County Emergency Services Department will continue to monitor the forecast for Hurricane Dorian and issue advisories as appropriate.