July 3, 2014 12:00 p.m.
Curfew And Alcohol Sales Ban On Ocracoke To Take Effect,
Last Ferry Leaving Ocracoke Scheduled For 5:00 p.m. Today July 3, 2014
Ocracoke Island is currently under voluntary evacuation. Hyde County officials have announced a curfew for Ocracoke Island between 8:00 p.m. tonight and 8:00 a.m. Friday morning. All sales of alcohol on Ocracoke will be banned after 5:00 p.m. today.
Hyde County officials strongly recommend visitors leave as soon as possible and residents be prepared for potential serious impacts of Hurricane Arthur. This storm is projected to be a Category 2 hurricane with storm surge of 3-5 feet above ground.
Hurricane Arthur is now expected to be a Category 2 hurricane when it passes over or near the North Carolina coast. Tropical storm force winds are expected to affect Ocracoke Island beginning today at 8:00 p.m. and subside around 9:00 a.m. Friday. Hurricane force winds are expected between 2:00-4:00 a.m. Friday with peak wind projected around 103 MPH at 3:00 a.m. Friday. 15-25 foot seas are expected with storm surge projections of 3-5 feet above ground. Isolated tornados are also possible over portions of coastal North Carolina.
Those that choose to stay on Ocracoke do so at their own risk and need to be well prepared for potential serious impacts of the storm. County Manager Bill Rich sternly warns everyone on Ocracoke, "There could be loss of electricity, there could be restaurants closing, there could be cars flooding, and roads could be compromised; if you do not want to experience what could be, you should leave the Island."
There is no pre-equipped storm shelter on Ocracoke and people who choose to stay should be prepared to be self-supporting. Please disconnect your car battery if your car is flooded. Hyde County officials ask all lodging establishments on Ocracoke take every effort to keep their clients out of harms way from 9:00 p.m. Thursday to 10:00 a.m. Friday morning. Go to ReadyNC.org for ideas on emergency supply kits and more information about hurricane preparedness. Please be alert, be prepared, and be smart!
Preparation Measures by Tideland EMC: Tideland is preparing for the storm by sending additional resources to Ocracoke. Tideland has no plans to shut power off in advance of the storm and is prepared to run the Ocracoke generator in the event of a prolonged outage. However, the ability of the generator to power the island in an emergency situation will largely depend on electric load. Therefore, island residents will be asked to practice extreme conservation efforts if the generator is called into service. Power restoration activities do not begin until storm conditions have sufficiently subsided to ensure safe working conditions for utility crews. More information available here.
Preparation Measures by NCDOT: Along the Outer Banks, crews are staging motor graders, excavators, bulldozers and front-end loaders in Buxton, Kitty Hawk, Ocracoke and Pea Island. NCDOT has more equipment ready to mobilize, if needed, as well as employees prepared to patrol N.C. 12 during and after the storm. More information available here.
NPS Park Closures: 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.
Ocracoke Independence Day Celebration: The Ocracoke Independence Day celebration has been reschedule to Saturday, July 5th when the weather is expected to clear up. More information: http://www.ocracokecurrent.com/
Next update from Hyde County Emergency Services is expected early afternoon Thursday July 3, 2014.