MANTEO, N.C.
OBX evacuation

Dare County has called for a mandatory evacuation that began at noon Monday as Hurricane Florence approaches.

The evacuation includes the southern villages of Rodanthe, Waves, Salvo, Avon, Buxton, Frisco and Hatteras, according to a release from Dare County Emergency Management.

A mandatory evacuation for the northern part of Dare County begins at 7 a.m. Tuesday that includes the towns of Duck, Southern Shores, Kitty Hawk, Kill Devil Hills, Nags Head and Manteo.

Currituck County has also ordered an evacuation for vacationers in Corolla and Carova beginning at 7 a.m. Tuesday. And Hyde County issued an evacuation of Ocracoke visitors and residents starting at 5 p.m. Tuesday. 

Florence is expected to make landfall on southeastern North Carolina on Thursday as a Category 3 or 4 hurricane. A high-pressure ridge could stall the storm after it makes landfall, unleashing heavy rainfall for an extended time, according to Perspecta Weather. Outer Banks towns and villages could see extensive flooding.

Rainfall could reach 6 to 12 inches or more, according to the National Weather Service. Tropical storm force winds could arrive by Wednesday evening. 

The last Category 4 storm to strike North Carolina was Hurricane Hazel in 1954 with winds ranging from 130 to 156 mph, according to NOAA. Hurricane Bonnie in 1998 was the last storm to make landfall in North Carolina as a Category 3, and winds ranged from 111 to 129 mph, according to a hurricane history on the Dare County website. The last time Dare County called for an evacuation of the entire county was for Hurricane Irene in 2011. Dare County ordered an evacuation of Hatteras Island last year for Hurricane Maria.

Jeff Hampton, 252-491-5272, jeff.hampton@pilotonline.com

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