ORCACOKE ISLAND, Hyde County - As Hurricane Maria approaches the North Carolina coast, the N.C. Department of Transportation's Ferry Division is assisting with the evacuation of Ocracoke Island.
Hyde County has issued a mandatory evacuation order for all island visitors beginning at 5 a.m. Monday, September 25. Only residents, homeowners or vendors with an Ocracoke re-entry sticker on their vehicles will be allowed on ferries inbound to Ocracoke.
Priority boarding will be suspended for all vessels leaving Ocracoke. For ferries heading from Ocracoke to Cedar Island or Swan Quarter, all reservations will be canceled and all tolls waived.
NC Ferries will be assisting Hyde County in a mandatory evacuation of visitors from Ocracoke beginning Monday AM: https://t.co/ZMtq2nAbxu— NCDOT Ferry Division (@NCDOT_Ferry) September 25, 2017
"We encourage all Ocracoke visitors to leave as soon as possible Monday," said Ferry Division Director Harold Thomas. "We also encourage visitors to leave via Swan Quarter or Cedar Island if at all possible to avoid potential issues on N.C. 12 on Hatteras Island."
NCDOT expects ocean over wash to occur on N.C. 12 with the approach of Hurricane Maria, and worsen as the storm nears the coast. Evacuation procedures will remain in effect for all Ocracoke-bound ferries until Hyde County emergency officials lift the evacuation order.