July 2, 2014 12:30 p.m.
Hyde County Announces Countywide State of Emergency And Voluntary Evacuation for Ocracoke Island
Based on the most recent data from the National Hurricane Center, Hyde County officials have declared a countywide state of emergency as well as a voluntary evacuation for Ocracoke Island to take effect at 2:00 p.m. today July 2, 2014.
A state of emergency helps Hyde County acquire state resources and assistance if necessary. A state of emergency also temporarily suspends tolling for anyone leaving Ocracoke via Pamlico Sound ferries, thereby assisting voluntary evacuation measures. Currently there are no restrictions associated with this state of emergency. The NC Ferry Division will maintain their current schedule of operations for Ocracoke unless traffic demand dictates otherwise. Go to NCDOT.gov/ferry for the current ferry schedule.
The most recent data from NOAA shows changes to the storm's composure. As of now Ocracoke is expected to encounter sustained winds of tropical storm force beginning between 9:00-10:00 p.m. on Thursday and subsiding by 10:00 am on Friday. The size of the storm is projected to constrict as it approaches the North Carolina coast. The outer periphery of hurricane force winds will pass roughly 40 miles east of Ocracoke. Peak winds are expected around 1:00 a.m. Friday with sustained winds of 60 mph at that time. Storm surge is still projected between 0-3 feet above ground.
Residents and visitors are asked to monitor weather reports and take necessary precautions. Go to ReadyNC.org for ideas on emergency supply kits and more information about hurricane preparedness.
Ocracoke Civic and Business has rescheduled activities for the Ocracoke Independence Day celebration to Saturday, July 5th when the weather is expected to clear up. More information: http://www.ocracokecurrent.com
The Outer Banks Group of the National Park Service has announced the following park closures that will affect Ocracoke starting at 12:00 p.m. Noon today: the NPS campground, NPS docks in Silver Lake, NPS visitors center and ORV office, as well as NPS lifeguard operations will close until further notice. All NPS beaches will be closed to off-road vehicles by 9:00 p.m. today until further notice. More information available here.
Next update from Hyde County Emergency Services is expected around 9:00 p.m. tonight July 2, 2014.