Saturday, January 19, 2013

Hatteras Inlet Press Release

Hatteras ferry channel impassable following yesterday's storm; Another departure being added at Swan Quarter-Ocracoke route; residents toll exempt

MANNS HARBOR - Operations at the N.C. Department of Transportation's Hatteras-Ocracoke ferry route are suspended until further notice. Extremely high winds last night caused the ferry channel at markers #9 and #10 to shoal over and become impassable.
The Ferry Division has been in contact with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers who will survey the channel as soon as possible.
In the meantime, an extra run is being added to the Swan Quarter-Ocracoke route starting tomorrow and Ocracoke residents and vendors carrying necessary goods and commodities will be toll exempt using either the Swan Quarter or Cedar Island routes. Beginning Saturday, Jan. 19, there will be a 10 a.m. departure from Ocracoke and a 1 p.m. departure from Swan Quarter, in addition to the three departures from each side currently being offered.
The schedule will be as follows:
  • Departing Swan Quarter at 10 a.m., 1 p.m., 4 and 10 p.m.; and
  • Departing Ocracoke at 7 a.m., 10 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 7 p.m.
The current winter schedule at Cedar Island is:
  • Departing Cedar Island at 7 a.m., 10 and 4 p.m.; and
  • Departing Ocracoke at 7:30 a.m., 1 p.m. and 4.
The extra departures and toll exempt status will continue until the Hatteras ferry channel resumes operations, just like in previous emergency situations. The division will monitor traffic and if additional departures are needed, schedules will be further adjusted.
For the past several weeks, ferry operations have been suspended daily during low water at the Hatteras-Ocracoke route. Shoaling in the channel has been an ongoing issue, but Hurricane Sandy, two back-to-back Nor'easters and several winter wind storms have contributed to the problem. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is working to resolve the situation, as the channel falls under federal jurisdiction. The USACE has issued a dredging contract to address the channel shoaling, and work is under way, but several weeks could pass before dredging alleviates the problem.
For more information travelers can sign-up to receive messages on Twitter by going or visit the N.C. 12 Facebook page.
Lucy M. Wallace
Communications Officer
NCDOT - Ferry Division
8550 Shipyard Rd.
Manns Harbor, NC 27953
252.473.3461 (work)


  1. Anonymous11:07 AM

    Phillip you posted pictures of shells you found however --is there talk of household debris littering the beaches since Hurricane Sandy? It must be sad to find a sink or commode broken on the shore.

  2. There is no household debris littering the beach here. Walking along the shore, as usual, is simply a delight -- a wide, flat beach, a few collectible shells, dolphins offshore, and sandpipers scurrying along at the water's edge.