Ocracoke Island officials considering visitor reentry as soon as Thursday

(Hyde County Public Information photo)

OCRACOKE ISLAND, Hyde County - A state of emergency for all of Hyde County and a mandatory visitor evacuation of Ocracoke Island is still in effect, but officials are gathering to determine when the evacuation order for visitors can be lifted.

County officials will continue to coordinate with our partners at the NCDOT to determine when the evacuation order for visitors will end. Officials will be evaluating the road conditions and the NCDOT Ferry Division will conduct a test run on Thursday morning, September 28, if conditions allow. The Ocracoke Deputy Control Group will meet as soon as that information is available to them, officials said.

"We are cautiously optimistic that ferry operations and road conditions will permit reentry as soon as tomorrow afternoon," officials said in a press release. "Visitors with plans to come to the island should monitor our web page and social media outlets for further updates."

The tropical storm warning for Hyde County and storm surge warning for Ocracoke are still active. Ocracoke experienced widespread flooding due to the storm surge, however no structural damage has been reported in the village. Winds will continue to diminish throughout the afternoon.

Sustained winds of 30 mph with gusts over 40 mph have been reported on Wednesday, September 27. Storm surge flooding will continue to be an issue throughout the day and night, especially during high tides. County officials expect conditions to improve as Hurricane Maria continues to move offshore.

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