MANNS HARBOR, N.C. (WAVY) – With Hurricane Idalia approaching the North Carolina coast, the Department of Transportation Ferry Division announced it is suspending service on most routes for Thursday.

The center of Idalia, which made landfall in Florida Wednesday, is forecast to reach the coast of southern North Carolina Thursday.

“Safety is always our top priority,” said Interim Ferry Division Director Jed Dixon. “Between heavy rain, tropical storm-force winds, and extreme tidal conditions, we are suspending service to protect our passengers, employees and vessels.”

He said all suspended routes will resume service as soon as it is safe to do so.

Here is the new ferry schedule for Aug. 31:

  • Southport-Fort Fisher: Service suspended
  • Cherry Branch-Minnesott Beach: Service suspended
  • Bayview-Aurora: Service suspended
  • Cedar Island-Ocracoke: Service suspended
  • Swan Quarter-Ocracoke: Service suspended
  • Hatteras-Ocracoke: Service suspended after the 4:30 a.m. departure from Ocracoke
  • Currituck-Knotts Island: Will assess conditions in the morning to determine if service is possible.

The Ocracoke Express passenger ferry suspended service at the end of the day Tuesday as was brought to the Manns Harbor shipyard for safe keeping during the storm.

All suspended routes will resume service as soon as it is safe to do so. Passengers can receive real time text or email alerts from their preferred routes by signing up for the Ferry Information Notification System (FINS) at System-wide route status updates will also be posted on the Ferry Division’s Twitter and Facebook pages.    

For real-time travel information, visit or follow NCDOT on social media.

Get real time alerts on your preferred route by signing up for the Ferry Information Notification System (FINS) at

The North Carolina Department of Transportation says it has about 2,200 employees prepared to respond as needed after the storm passes. NCDOT says it will work to clear debris and get roads reopened as quickly as possible. The department has a flood warning system with storm surge prediction capabilities they say will help its staff make informed decisions to help protect drivers.

NCDOT is also using drones before the storm’s arrival to gather images from high-risk coastal areas to help with post-hurricane damage assessments. They’ll also use drone pilots after the storm passes to assess damage, monitor flooding and for other uses.

Several school systems in northeast North Carolina are also taking precaution ahead of the storm’s impacts. Get the latest schedule changes here.

On Tuesday, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper issued a state of emergency to help mobilize resources.

Check for the latest updates.