HYDE COUNTY, N.C. (WAVY) — Homeowners are allowed to return to Ocracoke Island Monday, to begin assessing the damage from Hurricane Dorian.
Hyde County officials announced Sunday that permanent residents would be allowed back to Ocracoke Island starting Monday and thanked the community for support as they continue their relief efforts.
Permanent residents will need to have a green re-entry pass or a Hatteras priority boarding pass sticker on their vehicle to board the Ocracoke ferry.
“It’s weird, it’s like living in a ghost town and all my neighbors are gone and we’re still hanging out,” said Pat Piland.
Piland said that’s what it’s been like in Dare County the last few days.
Despite the mandatory evacuation, Pat and her husband stayed and watched as Hurricane Dorian left his mark.
“We lost lots of branches and we could see the trees just laying down.”
Now that Dorian has moved on, people are making their way back home.
Officials say they normally would not allow residents back so soon, but due to the severe flooding, they want citizens to get back to their homes and mitigate their damage as soon as possible.
Critical infrastructure on the island, including power and safe water systems, are not operational.
Officials say there are no shelters on the island and they have limited resources, so the majority of homes may not be inhabitable.
The ferry schedule for Monday, Sept. 9 will be as follows:
- Hatteras to Ocracoke-Silver Lake: 7:30 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m., and 3:30 p.m.
- Ocracoke-Silver Lake to Hatteras: 10:30 a.m., 12:30 a.m., 4:30 p.m., and 6:30 p.m.
Only high-clearance vehicles will be allowed on the Hatteras-Silver Lake route. In addition, the Ferry Division’s Pamlico Sound routes will be on the following schedule:
- Swan Quarter to Ocracoke: 7 a.m., 9 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 3 p.m., and 5 p.m.
- Ocracoke to Swan Quarter: 10 a.m., 12 p.m., 2 p.m., 4 p.m., 6 p.m., and 8 p.m.
- Cedar Island to Ocracoke: 8 a.m. and 2 p.m.
- Ocracoke to Cedar Island: 11 a.m. and 5 p.m.
Officials say all fuel deliveries to Ocracoke should use the 9 a.m. Swan Quarter to Ocracoke departure.
In another statement, officials thanked the community for the “overwhelming” support following the hurricane’s destruction.
However, officials also mentioned they have received more food and supplies than they can handle at the moment. They asked the community to call their staff at 833-543-3248 before sending anything to the island, as they try to evaluate their current needs.
If you would like to give cash donations to the Outer Banks Community Foundation, the organization has the site open for donors to specifically give to Ocracoke relief efforts.
You can also donate to Lifeline Outreach OBX, an Outreach organization in Outer Banks, as they try to get more resources in Ocracoke.
At the moment, access to Ocracoke is still restricted. Officials advise that private boats attempting to access the island will be turned away.