Ocracoke & Hatteras islands reopen to visitors

OUTER BANKS, N.C. (WITN) - The hurricane has passed and visitors are able to return to two islands on the Outer Banks.

Hyde County lifted visitor restrictions to Ocracoke at 9:30 a.m., while Dare County allowed visitors to return at 1:00 p.m.

Dare County says there are still pockets of sand and water on Highway 12, as well as side roads. DOT crews are still working to clear the roads and drivers should expect delays.

Some 10,000 people were ordered off the islands on Monday as Maria churned offshore.

As of 1:00 p.m. all ferries were back to normal operation.

The Cape Hatteras National Seashore says all of its facilities south of Oregon Inlet reopened at 1:00 p.m.

Cape Lookout says they will reopen Friday morning at 8:00 a.m. to visitors.

Tourists should check to make sure they call providers to confirm check-in details before heading back to the island.

Dare County warns that dangerous surf and rip currents remain on the Outer Banks through the weekend.

Previous Story

Visitors are being told to leave Hatteras Island because of Hurricane Maria.

Dare County has declared a state of emergency, issuing a mandatory evacuation for all visitors south of the Bonner Bridge effective at noon Monday.

The storm is expected to pass about 150 miles southeast of Dare County, bringing significant impact including high winds, significant ocean and sound overwash and flooding, according to a county news release.

Dare County says it is likely that roads will become impassable during extended periods of times.

Permanent residents of the island are being urged to ensure that emergency kits are stocked and that emergency plans are ready to implement.