Dare County has established a curfew as Hurricane Dorian bears down on the Outer Banks beginning at 8 p.m. tonight, Thursday, Sept. 5.
Access into Dare County will end tonight, also at 8 p.m.
“The window of opportunity for evacuation is closing. Dare County Emergency Management strongly warns everyone to evacuate immediately to ensure the safety of you and your family,” Dare EMS said in a news release.
Curfew will continue through noon Friday, or longer if conditions warrant. The Town of Kitty Hawk is excluded from the curfew order.
North Carolina Emergency Management has opened shelters in other areas of the state, including pet-friendly locations. For updated shelter information, visit https://www.ncdps.gov/storm-shelters. There are no emergency shelters in Dare County.
Storm surge from ocean and soundside flooding is now estimated at four to seven feet above the ground, not including wave action. According to the National Weather Service, there will be periods of rapid water rise from the soundside as the storm passes, possibly into Friday evening.
Hurricane Dorian will bring life-threatening impacts to Dare County. Extreme ocean and soundside flooding, heavy rain and hurricane force winds are forecasted. Roads will become unsafe for travel and some areas will become inaccessible. Highway 12 on Hatteras Island is especially vulnerable to flooding and will likely become compromised and impassable.
Power outages are likely for an extended period of time.
To view storm surge estimates for your particular area, visit the National Hurricane Center’s storm inundation map http://bit.ly/StormSurgeOBX. Rainfall totals are estimated at eight to ten inches with up to 15 locally in some areas. In addition, winds are expected to reach hurricane force at the height of the storm.
Dare County remains under a Hurricane Warning and a Storm Surge Warning. A Flash Flood Watch is in effect through 8:00 p.m. Friday. A Tornado Watch is in effect through 7:00 p.m. Thursday. Monitor updated local weather forecasts, watches and warnings from the National Weather Service at www.weather.gov/mhx.
The ban on ocean swimming remains in place until further notice. Stay out of the water as it is unsafe for even the most experienced swimmers.
The next update from Dare County Emergency Management will be issued when necessary to provide critical, storm-related information. Visit www.darenc.com/hurricanedorian for updated information from Dare County, the towns of Kitty Hawk, Southern Shores, Kill Devil Hills, Nags Head and Manteo, and the National Park Service, Outer Banks Group.
Subscribe to receive emergency alerts via text, email or phone from Dare County Emergency Management at www.DareNC.com/alerts and follow @DareCountyEM on Twitter.
This story originally appeared on OBXToday.com. Read More local stories here.