Public Advisory #8
Date: Thursday, September 02, 2010, 7:30 pm
Event: Hurricane Earl
Media Contact: #252-926-4368 (new number for public and media inquiries).
A mandatory evacuation has been issued for all visitors and residents of Ocracoke as of 5 AM on Wednesday, September 1. There is a hurricane warning for all coastal areas including mainland and Outer Banks Hyde. It is a current Category 3 Hurricane with intensity of 115 mph winds. A turn to the northeast is expected later today as Hurricane Earl passes off the coast. The closest path will be around 2-3 am Friday, September 3, which is also high tide. Seas may peak at 30 feet Thursday night and into Friday morning. Tropical storm force winds will spread across the area from the south this evening. The Outer Banks, from Oregon Inlet to Ocracoke, will see sustained winds increasing to 50-65 mph overnight, with wind gusts to hurricane force after midnight.
Overnight mainland Hyde county winds are expected to reach tropical storm force overnight with gusts up to 60 mph. Winds will begin to be a serious threat to Ocracoke by 4 PM today. There is a potential up to 1 foot storm surge for Swan Quarter and Engelhard and an increased prediction of 4-6 foot storm surge on the back side of Ocracoke. Rainfall amounts for the Outer Banks are projected at 3-5”.
The NCDOT’s Ferry Division has suspended ferry operations at the Ocracoke, Swan Quarter, Cedar Island, Hatteras, Currituck, Cherry Branch and Pamlico River routes. Operations will return to normal as soon as soon as the U.S. Coast Guard deems it safe to cross the rivers and sounds.
Reentry will occur when damage assessments are complete and the island is safe for all to return. Emergency services, government agencies, commercial vendors delivering essential groceries and supplies, and permanent residential traffic as indicated by purple and green stickers will be allowed on the island via air and marine traffic. The State Highway Patrol shall restrict access without appropriate credentials.
People with medical needs and unique situations are urged to consider their options. All Hyde County public safety services will cease after winds reach 50 mph sustained. Pay attention to Highway 12 on Ocracoke and Hatteras islands as overwash may make the route impassable.
Those seeking shelter may travel to North Pitt High School, 5659 N. Highway 11, Bethel, NC. This shelter will be open at 9 am on Wednesday, September 1. Evacuees are encouraged to register with http://safeandwell.communityos.org/cms/ with the American Red Cross.
This is the only information available at this time. Please tune in to local radio 90.1 FM on Ocracoke, the National Weather Service, and local television reports.
As seen in the past, hurricanes are unpredictable and can change with little notice. Residents and visitors need to remain vigilant and not let your guard down.
Hyde County Emergency Services continues to review the latest weather forecasts, is coordinating with the State and nearby counties, and advising citizens on possible actions to protect themselves and their property.
Please make yourselves aware of the state ferry system’s schedule and road conditions before making travel plans during this time and after the storm has passed.