Hurricane Dorian NC: Rescues On Ocracoke Island, Cleanup Begins

NORTH CAROLINA — Hurricane Dorian officially made landfall near Hatteras Friday morning, trapping hundreds of residents on Ocracoke Island as the storm continued to batter the Outer Banks and northeastern North Carolina with heavy wind and rain. By mid-afternoon the first helicopter reached the island and authorities are asking residents to shelter at the highest point in their homes until they are rescued.

They found themselves trapped in their homes by several feet of storm surge Friday. In certain areas, the storm brought so much water that SUVs and fridges were seen afloat. Officials from Hyde County said Friday afternoon that air units are coming to Ocracoke Island to evacuate people who stayed through the storm. Evacuees will be taken to Dare County, where they’ll be taken to the Washington County shelter, with food, medical supplies and power.

To be picked up, call 252-926-3715 so authorities can direct you to a pick up location. Officials said they will release times to go to the airport when that is set.

The Coast Guard is taking emergency responders to the island by helicopter and airlifting out the sick, the elderly or others in distress, Hyde County authorities told The Washington Post. Until they can be evacuated, Ocracoke Island residents are instructed to go to the highest point in their homes in the meantime.

“There is significant concern about hundreds of people trapped on Ocracoke Island,” Gov. Roy Cooper said Friday morning. “There are rescue teams ready as soon as they can get in.”

As many as 800 people could remain in Ocracoke, according to the governor, citing unofficial totals. “It is concerning to have this significant storm surge there and that so many people are on the island,” Cooper said.

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As it drew closer to the North Carolina shore overnight Thursday, Dorian downshifted and by 8 a.m. Friday morning, was clocking maximum sustained winds of 90 mph as it crept forward at about 14 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center. As the eye of the storm neared Hatteras early Friday, its hurricane-force winds extended 45 miles out. The storm was on track to reach southern New England overnight Friday, and then move across Nova Scotia late Saturday, NHC said.

Those areas faced dangers of storm surge up to 7 feet and flash flooding. Flash flooding emergencies were issued for Dare and Hyde counties “and officials are telling people to get to the highest point in their houses,” Cooper said.

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