HATTERAS ISLAND, N.C. (WAVY) — Mandatory evacuations began Monday for residents and visitors in the Outer Banks.
Dare County officials said Monday a state of emergency was issued, along with the evacuation order. Evacuations for Hatteras Island — including the villages of Rodanthe, Waves, Salvo, Avon, Buxton, Frisco and Hatteras Village — started at 12 p.m. on Monday.
Evacuations for the rest of Dare County went into effect starting 7 a.m. Tuesday. This includse Duck, Southern Shores, Kitty Hawk, Kill Devil Hills, Nags Head, Manteo, Roanoke Island and mainland Dare County.
Dare County Schools will be closed for all students and staff Sept. 11 through the end of the week. All after-school activities are canceled for Sept. 10 with the exception of the ASEP program.
On Tuesday, Currituck County officials extended its evacuation order for the Outer Banks communities of Corolla and Carova to begin at 12 p.m. on Tuesday. At this time, there is no evacuation order for the mainland section of Currituck County, however officials said residents of Knotts Island should consider evacuating due to the threat of flooding.
Officials reminded residents that the county does not open shelters before storms, due to the low-lying geography of the area.
The Currituck County School District will be closed for students Tuesday, Sept. 11 through Friday, Sept. 14. Staff members will have optional workdays Tuesday and Wednesday. All after-school activities are canceled starting Monday.
Anyone who might need evacuation assistance should contact Currituck Social Services at 252-232-3083.
Hyde County declared a state emergency as well — and issued a mandatory evacuation for visitors on Ocracoke Island that went into effect at noon on Monday.
The evacuation orders came as Hurricane Florence appears to be bearing down on North Carolina’s Outer Banks. Florence strengthened into a major hurricane on Monday.
Florence could hit the region as a dangerous Category 4 hurricane by Thursday.
Drew Pearson is Dare County’s Emergency Management Director. Message to 200-250,000 estimated still in Dare County. Mandatory evacuation noon today for Hatteras Island 7am Tuesday for rest of Dare County. @WAVY_News pic.twitter.com/PWCpq5LP2j— Andy Fox (@AndyFoxWAVY) September 10, 2018
Dare County officials said visitors should take all personal belongings and follow instructions from their property managers.
Those who are looking to evacuate to areas north of the county are encouraged to consider going west on Highway 64 to Interstate 95. Officials said this would help avoid traffic backups and congestion.
Officials said the state of emergency included swimming restrictions due to dangerous surf and strong rip currents along the beaches.
This story will be updated as more evacuations are ordered.