Joaquin Evacuates Ocracoke

Press Release
Joaquin Evacuates Ocracoke
State of Emergency and Mandatory Evacuation declared for Ocracoke Island.

The Hyde County Board of Commissioners held an emergency meeting today, October 1, 2015 at 12:00 p.m. The meeting, originally planned for 5:00 p.m., was rescheduled due to recent information from the NC Ferry Division regarding rising water in the Pamlico Sound and potential complications to any emergency evacuation decisions.

The Hyde County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to declare a State of Emergency for the County of Hyde, NC and a mandatory evacuation for Ocracoke Island effective at 3:00 p.m. today, October 1, 2015.   

Effective with the mandatory evacuation, visitors will no long be able to travel to Ocracoke. Law enforcement will be stationed at each ferry terminal to allow only residents, property-owners, and vendors access to Ocracoke for Thursday, October 1, 2015 and Friday, October 2, 2015. No inbound traffic will be allowed starting Saturday, October 3, 2015.   

Under a mandatory evacuation all ferry routes servicing Ocracoke Island will be on a first-come-first-serve basis. Reservations and priority status will not be honored. Tolls on the sound class ferries will also be temporarily removed.   

The NC Ferry Division has expressed serious concern for rising water levels in the Pamlico Sound. If the water level continues to rise, the Hatteras-Ocracoke ferries may not be able to utilize the loading docks. Therefore it is imperative that people who choose to leave Ocracoke do so as soon as possible. Property owners and vendors entering Ocracoke today or tomorrow must realize there is a possibility they may not be able to get off the island via Hatteras.    

Anyone who chooses to stay on Ocracoke for Hurricane Joaquin, does so at their own risk and should be prepared to sustain themselves for several days in the event of flooding, downed trees, and/or loss of power.  

An emergency general population shelter will be ready to receive residents starting at 6:00 p.m. tonight. The shelter is located at the Englewood Baptist Church, 1350 South Winstead Avenue, Rocky Mount, NC 27803. The shelter will have showers and food available. Space for pets will be provided. Please be prepared with clothes, medication, and other necessities for several days.   

Any patients with advanced medical needs requiring special assistance should contact the Hyde County Health Department at (252) 926-4200.  

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