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Ocracoke now to reopen Dec. 2

The Ocracoke Deputy Control Group met Nov. 20, and has changed its original recommendation to the Hyde County Board of Commissioners to lift the evacuation order on Nov. 22, or immediately following the reopening of N.C. Highway 12.

Due to the damage caused by the nor’easter, repair work to N.C. 12 is expected to take at least an additional two weeks to complete. With this uncertainty, the control group felt that the benchmark of having N.C. 12 completed before allowing re-entry should be taken out of the decision making process. The control group has therefore recommended to the board of commissioners that the evacuation order for visitors be lifted on Dec. 2, regardless of any other setbacks.

The Hyde County Board of Commissioners discussed the Ocracoke Deputy Control Group’s recommendation at the continuation of their recessed special meeting last Wednesday night. Based on the control group’s recommendation, the commissioners voted 4-1, with Commissioner Topping voting against, to lift the Ocracoke visitor evacuation on Dec. 2, at 5 a.m.

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.

Given the unfortunate delay in the repairs to N.C. 12, because of the recent coastal storm, the normal medical transportation route to definitive care remains unavailable. Patients can expect delays and extended transport times until N.C. 12 is repaired. The County of Hyde is diligently working with our state and federal partners to mitigate these issues but the solutions available at this juncture will not completely eliminate the barriers to definitive care.

Please plan your visits accordingly. Follow our social media outlets, twitter.com/HydeNC or facebook.com/HydeCountyNC for the latest information.