Reopening for business? Ocracoke evacuation order to be lifted Nov. 22

N.C. 12 on the north end of Ocracoke Island following Hurricane Dorian on Sept. 7, 2019. [NCDOT photo]

The Ocracoke Control Group met Monday and has recommended to the Hyde County Board of Commissioners to lift the evacuation order for the island on Nov. 22, or immediately following the reopening of N.C. 12. which is slated to reopen that same day.

The Hyde County Board of Commissioners is recognizing the Ocracoke Control Group’s request and will release access restrictions and reopen Ocracoke Island to visitors on Nov. 22, or immediately upon reopening of N.C. 12.

The evacuation order has been in place since Sept. 4, ahead of Hurricane Dorian’s arrival. Ocracoke was devastated by severe flooding when Dorian hit Sept. 6.

“When discussing possible dates for reentry to begin, the control group identified two benchmarks that needed to be completed,” Hyde County officials said in a news release. “First, the initial pass of debris removal; this was completed on November 1. The final benchmark is the reopening of NC 12 for all vehicles. NCDOT has targeted November 22 as the date NC 12 will reopen.

After the evacuation order is lifted, visitors will be immediately allowed to access Ocracoke. Ferry operations will return to the paid reservation system normally in place. Reconstruction and debris removal will continue to take place for the foreseeable future. Please be aware of any obstacles while on the island.

In addition, visitors should be advised there are limited lodging accommodations, food service, gas availability and other services normally available to the visiting public. Please plan your visits accordingly.

The Joint Recovery Center ended operations in Ocracoke on Nov. 7.

The Ocracoke Interfaith Relief & Recovery Team operations opened today at the Life Saving Church, Lighthouse Road, and will be open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. am to 5 p.m.

Teresa Adams, the Ocracoke liaison to Hyde County, has relocated to the Life Saving Church during the same hours. She can assist with Individual Assistance, if people have been denied Small Business Administration (SBA) loans, both paper applications and online; food stamp information; housing applications to elevate homes; Legal Aid info; Back At Home Trillium information; re-entry permits and permits for people who want their families to help; contractor lists; and various other online information.

The Hyde County Board of Commissioners will still hold the Monday, Nov. 18 meeting scheduled at 6 p.m. at the Government Center in Swan Quarter and the Community Center in Ocracoke for the purpose of taking public comment and discuss individual items related to reentry and recovery. A full agenda will be forthcoming.

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