Officials in Dare and Hyde counties have declared states of emergency and ordered mandatory evacuations of Dare and Ocracoke visitors beginning Tuesday and residents beginning Wednesday.
The Dare County Control Group met Monday afternoon to receive a briefing from the National Weather Service and to discuss actions necessary to ensure public safety across Dare County.
“With confidence increasing that Dare County will see significant, life threatening impacts from Hurricane Dorian later this week, a state of emergency has been issued for all areas of Dare County including the towns of Duck, Southern Shores, Kitty Hawk, Kill Devil Hills, Nags Head, Manteo and all unincorporated areas including Hatteras Island, Roanoke Island and the Dare mainland,” the county said in a news release.
Dare County’s evacuation is in effect for visitors beginning at noon on Tuesday and at 6 a.m. Wednesday for residents.
On Ocracoke, evacuation of visitors begins at 5 a.m. Tuesday and residents at 5 a.m. Wednesday.
Only residents, homeowners, or vendors with an Ocracoke re-entry pass on their vehicles will be allowed on ferries inbound to Ocracoke beginning at 5 a.m. on September 3, 2019. Priority boarding will be suspended for all vessels leaving Ocracoke, and tolls have been waived for ferries heading from Ocracoke to Cedar Island or Swan Quarter.
The Ocracoke-Hatteras, Ocracoke-Cedar Island, and Ocracoke-Swan Quarter ferry routes will run their published schedules. The final departure from Ocracoke to Swan Quarter will be September 4 at 3:45 pm, the final departure from Ocracoke to Cedar Island will be September 4 at 1:00 pm, and the final departure from Ocracoke to Hatteras will be September 4 at 2:00 pm. The Ocracoke Express passenger ferry will end service for the 2019 season at the end of the day today.
Now is the time to make final preparations, secure property and evacuate. Visitors should evacuate with all personal belongings and follow instructions from their property management company.
The state of emergency includes restrictions on ocean swimming due to dangerous surf conditions and strong rip currents along the beaches. Everyone must stay out of the water as it is unsafe for even the most experienced swimmers.
Those evacuating to areas north of Dare County are encouraged to travel westbound on Highway 64 to Interstate 95. Evacuating through the rural areas to the west of Dare County will help avoid traffic backups and congestion that may prolong evacuation by traveling northbound through the Hampton Roads portion of Virginia.
For preparedness tips and information, visit www.readync.org.
Please note that Dare County’s new online reentry permitting system is now in effect and reentry permits from previous years are no longer valid. Permanent residents may still use a valid driver’s license with a Dare County address for reentry. A current tax bill or parcel data sheet with matching current government issued ID will also suffice. To review guidelines or apply for a permit, visit www.darenc.com/reentry.
Subscribe to receive emergency alerts via text, email or phone directly from Dare County Emergency Management at www.DareNC.com/alerts and follow @DareCountyEM on Twitter.
Monitor updated local weather forecasts from the National Weather Service at www.weather.gov/mhx.
If you or someone you know has special medical needs and may need assistance during an emergency, please call the Dare County Department of Health & Human Services, Social Services Division at 252.475.5500 to register for the Special Medical Needs registry. Offices will open at 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, September 3. For more information, visit www.darenc.com/specialmedicalneeds.
The next update from Dare County Emergency Management will be issued on Tuesday, September 3 no later than 4:00 p.m.
This story originally appeared on OBXToday.com. Read More local stories here.