Tom Pahl posted a response to the Hyde County press release about opening Ocracoke. 

Commissioner Pahl refuses to talk to the Ocracoke Current's editor or writers, and doesn't return texts or calls. But he can't stop us from sharing his public posts! He shared the following on the Good Government for Hyde County Facebook page on Tuesday evening

I know there has been a lot of discussion about when the Commissioners should lift the evacuation order on visitors. The press release we put out two days ago clarified that it is the intent of the Board of Commissioners to lift the evacuation order upon completion of the road repair and restoration of regular ferry service to South Docks. We have made this decision, as we have all of the other decisions surrounding the hurricane and the recovery - in the light of much public input and in the knowledge that opinions vary throughout the island community. 

We have been seeking and receiving input on this question for six weeks. We've held open public meetings and we've heard from folks on this question at each of those meetings. We've held multiple meetings of the Ocracoke Advisory Control Group at which this question was a key topic. We've conducted phone conferences and meetings with the Ferry Division, National Parks Service, Department of Transportation and State Emergency Response Team. We've had the question on the agenda at two Board of Commissioners Meetings and, at both, received public comment on this question. In addition, we've received letters, emails, and petitions. And I, personally, have heard from dozens, if not hundreds of people, and I am grateful for all of the time and thoughts you've shared with me on this issue. The feelings are strong and they are strongly mixed. 

In the end, it is a question for the Board of Commissioners to address and two days ago we clarified our position. In keeping with the recommendation of the Ocracoke Advisory Control Group, and in keeping with the benchmarks we set at the BOC meeting the previous month, we will trigger the lifting of the evacuation order to the completion of the repair work on Highway 12 and the restoration of regular ferry service to South Docks. I don’t expect that decision to change and I feel like we’ve made the best decision that we can on this issue, balancing as best as we can, the competing concerns and needs of all of the residents and businesses of Ocracoke Island.

Editor's note: The Ocracoke Advisory Control Group, a.k.a., Emergency Control Group is a unique county entity. A select few Ocracoke business owners are members, but aren't officially appointed, they don't have term limits, and the list of members isn't public. The Control Group meets without announcing their meetings or announcing that they have had meetings (until they decide they want to.) They don't keep minutes. They make the recommendation to enact an evacuation or lift one. The Board of Commissioners has to vote to make the evacuation orders official, but they have never, in my knowledge, gone against the recommendation of the Control Group. The Control Group meetings were open to the public and the press was welcome as recently as 2015. The Control Group consists of representatives from Hyde County government, infrastructure organizations, local businesses, including, but not limited to: the Hyde County manager, Hyde County emergency manager, sheriff’s deputies, Hyde County commissioners, National Park Service, NCDOT Ferry Division, Tideland EMC, OVFD, Ocracoke School, Coastal Gas, and the Ocracoke water plant.