Hyde County Emergency Services Department
1223 Main St., PO Box
Swan Quarter NC 27885
(252) 926-4372 - Office
(252) 926-3901 - Fax
David Smitherman, Interim County Manager
Public Advisory #5
Date: Wednesday, September 01, 2010, 10:30 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. The hurricane watch for this area has been upgraded to a hurricane warning for mainland Hyde and Outer Banks Hyde. Hurricane Earl has set on a more westward track, still brushing the Cape Hatteras coast. It is a current Category 4 Hurricane with intensity of 135 mph winds. Seas may peak at 20-25 feet Thursday night and into Friday morning. We are expecting 70 mph sustained winds in the Ocracoke area Thursday evening extending into the night and tropical storm force wind gusts on the mainland. There is a potential 1-3 foot storm surge for Swan Quarter and Engelhard and a 3-5 foot storm surge for Ocracoke.
The NC Ferry system is operating on a first-come, first-serve basis for all vehicles open to Hatteras and Swan Quarter pending road conditions in those receiving counties. It is likely that the Cedar Island ferry will not run again until the storm has passed. The Swan Quarter ferry will resume service at 6 AM Thursday September 2. The Hatteras ferry will run as long as weather allows. Schedules and toll collections are suspended during the evacuation order. All island residents and tourists must leave immediately; congestion is low and weather is cooperative. Evacuation routes may not be available after mid-morning on Thursday.
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.
Before leaving, residents and guests in this area should take precautions such as moving cars and equipment to higher ground. Please pick up potential debris that could become unsecure during the storm.
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 the island, 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. Reentry will occur when damage assessments are complete and the island is safe for all to return.
Storm Basis Preparation Initial Checklist: Check First Aid Kits/ Fire Extinguishers, Obtain medicine and prescriptions, Check and fuel vehicles and generators, Obtain cash, Make pet arrangements, Pick up loose items around the yard, Protect vulnerable portions of property, Obtain non-perishable food and water for 3+ days (5+ recommended for Ocracoke), Obtain baby need or personal need items, Check battery