OCRACOKE, N.C. (WAVY) — Evacuations are underway in North Carolina as Hurricane Dorian is inching northward, threatening the U.S. East Coast.
The North Carolina Department of Transportation’s Ferry Division is helping residents and visitors leave Ocracoke Island along the Outer Banks.
Hyde County issued a mandatory evacuation order for island visitors that went into effect starting at 5 a.m. Tuesday. Evacuation orders for residents is scheduled to go into effect beginning 5 a.m. Wednesday.
NCDOT said residents, homeowners and vendors who have an Ocracoke re-entry sticker on their vehicles will be allowed on ferries.
The Ocracoke-Cedar Island, Ocracoke-Hatteras and Ocracoke-Swan Quarter routes will run their regular schedules. NCDOT on Tuesday released a list of that final departures for each route:
- Ocracoke to Cedar Island: Wednesday at 1 p.m.
- Ocracoke to Hatteras: Wednesday at 2 p.m.
- Ocracoke to Swan Quarter: Wednesday at 3:45 p.m.
“Dorian has the potential to create serious flooding and storm surge on Ocracoke Island,” Ferry Division Director Harold Thomas said in a statement. “We hope everyone will take heed of the evacuation orders and leave as soon as possible.”
Dare County also issued a mandatory evacuation order for residents and visitors on Monday. North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper declared a state of emergency over the weekend as the storm was barreling toward the Bahamas.
Dorian was parked over the Bahamas in the early part of the week, where is weakened from a Category 5 to a Category 3 hurricane. The storm started to inch northwestward at 1 mph early Tuesday morning.
The hurricane could impact parts of the viewing area — including the Outer Banks — Thursday into Friday.