Hyde County restricts visitors 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)

Hyde County declared a state of emergency Friday and restricted entry into Ocracoke as forecasts for Hurricane Isaias get more ominous for the Outer Banks.

Visitors will not be allowed onto the 16-mile long island accessible only by ferry, boat or small aircraft, according to a Hyde County release.

Homeowners, residents, business owners and essential personnel are allowed there. Those not on the island will need a reentry pass. The county is considering evacuation and could announce plans later Friday.

Hurricane Isaias churns at 80 miles an hour in the Caribbean. It is forecasted to pass near or over the Outer Banks on Monday.

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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