The first ferry carrying the two dozen stranded on Portsmouth Island off Carteret County arrived back around 9 a.m. Tuesday.
Seven people from a church in Wilson were among those stranded by Hurricane Sandy. The original group had 13 people, however, six of them left the barrier island before the final ferry took off on Friday at noon. One of the seven who spent the weekend stranded on the island was Gordon Deno, the Emergency Management Coordinator for Wilson County.
Portsmouth Island is the next island down the chain from Ocracoke.
WITN's Brittany Creamer spoke to some of the people who were stranded as they got off the ferry in Atlantic Tuesday morning. They were arriving on the mainland in Atlantic after taking the largest privately-owned ferry in North Carolina is bringing people back from the Cape Lookout National Seashore. The ferry can take five vehicles and 44 passengers. It is a 40-minute ferry ride each way from the mainland to the island.
Seven fisherman stranded on Portsmouth Island have been brought additional food and water by park rangers and are said to be in good spirits.
The group from Wilson was offered a ride back to the mainland Monday from the Cape Lookout National Seashore, but they declined, saying they prefer to wait until the ferries begin operating again so they can take their vehicles with them.
Word from the ferry operator is the ferry will likely run on Tuesday.
Carteret County Emergency Management says there are at least 15 people on Portsmouth Island.