Mandatory Evacuation Ordered For Ocracoke Ahead Of Storm

Jul 31, 2020

Ocracoke Island is under a mandatory evacuation order as Hurricane Isaias heads toward the North Carolina coast. The island's iconic lighthouse is captured here by photographer Larry Lamb.
Credit Larry Lamb /

Authorities have ordered the evacuation of Ocracoke Island this weekend in advance of Hurricane Isaias.

The mandatory evacuation of residents and non-resident property owners begins at 6 a.m. Saturday, according to a statement from Hyde County.

The National Weather Service forecast indicates the storm will first increase ocean swells and cause rip currents, starting Friday and continuing into next week. Tropical storm-force winds could be felt as early as Sunday night.

Ocracoke Island is accessible only by ferry. Officials are suggesting people take the Ocracoke-Hatteras ferry route to evacuate because routes on Pamlico Sound are operating at significantly reduced capacity due to shoaling in a channel.

Ocracoke is still recovering from Hurricane Dorian. The storm hit last September, launching a 7-foot (2-meter) storm surge over parts of the island’s village, which measures about a square mile.

Many people remain displaced or are still waiting for houses to be raised higher off the ground. The island’s one school, which serves approximately 170 students, is being rebuilt.