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Ferry system announces new schedule, procedures for Ocracoke emergency routes

OCRACOKE – The North Carolina Ferry System is announcing a change in schedule for routes serving Ocracoke Island during the recovery from Hurricane Dorian. At this time, Hyde County is only allowing residents, non-resident property owners, and personnel authorized by Hyde County Emergency Management to access Ocracoke Island. All motorists and pedestrians boarding an Ocracoke-bound ferry must meet the re-entry criteria or be given prior approval by Hyde County.

NCDOT reopened N.C. 12 on Ocracoke Island last Thursday. This access will be limited to ONLY  four-wheel drive vehicles that are rated at three-quarter ton capacity or smaller (such as Ford F250, GM K2500, Ram 2500, etc.). Please note that trailers will not be allowed at this time. Therefore, the Ferry System will be running ferries between Hatteras and Ocracoke-South Dock on the following schedule beginning Thursday:

Hatteras to Ocracoke-South Dock — 6 a.m., 7 a.m., 8 a.m., 5 p.m., 6 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Ocracoke-South Dock to Hatteras — 7:30 a.m., 8:30 a.m., 9:15 a.m., 6:30 p.m., 7:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.

Reservations are not available on the Hatteras-Ocracoke route. Vehicles will be loaded by the re-entry priority procedures established by Hyde County. Motorists should arrive 30 minutes before departure time.

There will no longer be service between Hatteras and Ocracoke-Silver Lake as of Thursday.

Swan Quarter-Ocracoke and Cedar Island-Ocracoke
The Swan Quarter-Ocracoke and Cedar Island-Ocracoke routes will switch to the following schedules on Oct. 8.

Swan Quarter to Ocracoke — 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 5 p.m.

Ocracoke to Swan Quarter — 9:30 a.m., 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Cedar Island to Ocracoke — 7 a.m., 10:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

Ocracoke to Cedar Island — 7:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 4 p.m.

Also, there will be an additional run for fuel and vendor deliveries on Wednesdays, departing Swan Quarter at 8 a.m. and returning from Ocracoke to Swan Quarter at 2:30 p.m.

Reservations on these routes are highly recommended, and can be obtained by calling 1-800-BY-FERRY. All reservation holders must arrive at the terminal one hour before departure time. In addition, same-day reservations for ferries departing Ocracoke are not available, and next-day reservations must be made before 4 p.m.

Volunteer groups approved to access Ocracoke are encouraged to board the ferries without vehicles to leave as much deck space as possible for vehicles necessary for hurricane recovery services.

Ocracoke commuter pass owners whose vehicles were destroyed in the storm can obtain new passes by bringing their information and identification to the Ocracoke-Silver Lake ferry terminal between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.