Demand from visitors hoping to travel to the Outer Banks has prompted the state to increase the number of ferry departures to Ocracoke Island.
The state Department of Transportation announced that starting Saturday, there will be an additional ferry departure from Cedar Island to Ocracoke, and an additional return trip from the island.
The increased service will run on Fridays and Saturdays only until N.C. 12 is repaired. The roadway that connects the southern Outer Banks to the mainland was badly damaged by Hurricane Irene and remains closed.
The new departure will mean that on weekends there will be six runs between Ocracoke and Cedar Island.