Hyde County orders evacuation from Ocracoke as Isaias approaches

Anglers leave Silver Lake at Ocracoke where the Ocracoke Lighthouse shines over Pamlico Sound. Hyde County is not allowing visitors onto Ocracoke as Hurricane Isaias approaches (Drew Wilson / The Virginian-Pilot)

As forecasts for Hurricane Isaias get more ominous for the Outer Banks, Hyde County declared a state of emergency Friday before ordering an evacuation of visitors and residents from Ocracoke.

“Everyone should begin their evacuations as soon as possible,” read a county news release.

Ferry schedules from the 16-mile long island are reduced because of shoaling and the vessels will fill fast, the release said. Only emergency personnel are allowed on Ocracoke.

Hurricane Isaias churns at 80 miles an hour in the Caribbean. It is forecasted to pass near or over the Outer Banks on Monday, but high winds and rain could hit the area sooner.

The small village is packed with shops, hotels and restaurants. It depends on the tourist industry.

After reopening following coronavirus-related closures, the Outer Banks have seen a heavy number of visitors.

Last September, Hurricane Dorian passed over Ocracoke and caused record flooding that left dozens homeless for weeks. The island community is still rebuilding from the destruction of homes and businesses.

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

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