Date: August 5, 2004
PRESS RELEASE - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
OCRACOKE ISLAND EVACUATION
OCRACOKE: On Ocracoke, residents and business owners have begun cleaning up after Hurricane Alex. The August 3 storm left the island virtually covered in several feet of water. Several hundred vehicles were flooded along with numerous homes and buildings. No loss of life or serious injury has been reported.
Hyde County officials began a mandatory evacuation of all non-resident, non-property owners effective at 6:00 am, today, August 5, due to potential hazards to public health. This measure has been taken to give the island a chance to recover and make necessary repairs. The island is under a State of Emergency and travel to the island is restricted until further notice.
Tideland Electric Membership Corp. reports that full power was restored to the island by 10:25 pm on Wednesday, August 4. Tideland crews are to be commended for their fast recovery work, installing over 20 downed poles and lines in less than twelve hours!
Hyde Transit is providing transportation for evacuees arriving at the Swan Quarter Ferry terminal who need to rent a vehicle. Enterprise Rent A Car in Washington, NC is working with the Hyde County Chamber of Commerce to make sure they have sufficient cars to serve those in need.
Hyde Transit was also prepared to take evacuees who were awaiting family to pick them up, to the Mattamuskeet School campus where a staging area and shelter manned by the American Red Cross had been established. Reports indicate that no evacuees used that facility on Wednesday evening.
The Salvation Army is also on hand on Ocracoke with hot meals as it was reported than only two restaurants on the island were open for business. A second Army canteen had been set up to serve those at Mattamuskeet School.
Travelers who were planning to visit the island in the upcoming days should check with officials before beginning their trip. The NC Ferry Division can be reached at 800-BY-FERRY. The Hyde County Chamber of Commerce can be reached at 888-493-3826. Dean Burbage, Emergency Manager can be reached at the county offices at 252-926-4372. The latest available information is also on-line at www.hydecounty.org .
Persons wishing to help island residents may make donations to the Hyde County Disaster Relief Fund at any branch of the East Carolina Bank, or by mail: c/o Hyde County CDC, PO Box 295, Swan Quarter, NC 27885.