Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Signs & Signals

We knew it was coming. Enhanced 911 required it. But it's a bit disconcerting. Yesterday the state of NC began putting up street signs. It was just a few years ago that Ocracoke got official street names.

We still give directions something like this: "Turn left on the corner where you'll see an old skiff filled with seashells, go around the curve and turn right at the Coffee Shop. It's the first house on the left after the yard full of bowling balls."

The new signs are standard green with white lettering. We tried to convince the state to put up brown signs, but they discontinued that program several years ago. I guess we'll get used to the signs. They will certainly help the fire & rescue squad locate rental cottages, and I'm sure first-time visitors to the island will find them helpful. But they will take a while to get used to.

Now for signals. No, we're not getting traffic signals too. Don't worry. But I've been told that visitors often wonder which cell phones work on the island. To the best of my knowledge, only three signals work on Ocracoke -- Alltel, AT&T, & US Cellular. Cingular, Nextel, & Sprint will not work here. Just thought you might want to know.



  1. Anonymous1:54 PM

    We delight in turning off our cell phones when we get on the ferry. So it really doesn't matter to us about cell phone service on the island! I think the signs will be helpful to some. However, we have always found where we needed to be on Ocracoke without them. See you in June. Donald & Mandy Davis, Ranburne, Alabama.

  2. Anonymous2:17 PM

    Dear Phillip,
    Just for the record, we have Verizon Wireless and are able to use our cell phones on the island. Will be back again in June. By the way, so glad there's no plan for traffic lights. That's one of the reasons why Ocracoke is so special. Joann from Pennsylvania

  3. Anonymous8:53 AM

    Phillip - Last summer we were able to use Sprint PCS on the Island... prior to that it did not work. You do need to have a plan that includes "free roaming" or the calls can get a little pricey. We try very hard not to use the cell phones while on the island, but some habits are difficult to break! See you in August...(and please, no hurricanes this year!)

  4. ocracoke5:39 PM

    alltel, verizon, sprint, and us cellular work here.

    att, tmobile, nextel and ntelos do not.

    us cellular had 3g (fast internet)

    if you don't have either alltel, verizon or us cellular, you will be roaming off network.

    sprint roams off of alltel/verizon