State ferries also being used to transport emergency resources to help in storm recovery
Ferry service for the public has resumed for several more coastal routes, and two state ferries arrived in Southport late Tuesday evening after traveling 14 hours down the Intracoastal Waterway carrying much-needed fuel, transportation workers and supplies to the Wilmington area.
The N.C. Department of Transportation’s Ferry Division has reopened coastal service along the following routes:
- Southport to Fort Fisher routes resumed Wednesday on a limited schedule for Brunswick County residents and essential vendors, people with critical medical and commerce responsibilities, and infrastructure support personnel. NCDOT will announce when service for visitors resumes.
- Cherry Branch to Minnesott Beach ferry service resumed Wednesday for daytime trips only.
- Bayview to Aurora ferry services resumed Tuesday evening.
- Currituck to Knotts Island ferry service resumed full service on Sept. 15.
- Swan Quarter to Ocracoke Island ferry service resumed on a limited schedule for essential personnel and residents on Sept. 16. The ferry is now making five trips a day between Swan Quarter and Ocracoke. Ferry service for tourists visiting Ocracoke Island is scheduled to resume on Friday morning.
- Cedar Island to Ocracoke resumed limited service for essential personnel and residents of Ocracoke on Tuesday and will resume service for tourists on Friday.
All routes must be deemed safe and must have approval from the U.S. Coast Guard before the NCDOT Ferry Division can resume service for the public. NCDOT will notify the public as soon as those decisions have been made.
The ferry service between Hatteras and Ocracoke Island is being used to shuttle essential emergency responders from Hyde County and NCDOT workers and transportation equipment to help clear N.C. 12, which was damaged and made impassable on the northern end of Ocracoke Island.
As in past storms, some ferries are also being used to carry needed supplies to impacted areas with limited access by road. The M/V Southport and M/V Fort Fisher, which are vessels normally stationed at Southport, were moved to safe harbor in Cherry Branch before Hurricane Florence made landfall near Wrightsville Beach on Sept. 14. On Tuesday morning, the two ferries started a 14-hour trek back to Southport carrying fuel, transportation employees and equipment to help clear roads in the Wilmington area. The two ferries arrived late Tuesday night.
2-1-1 Call Line Open 24/7 for People in Need of Help
The statewide information line can provide callers with nearby shelter, housing and other storm-related details. Dial 2-1-1 or 888-892-1162, or text Florence to 898211. The information line is staffed around the clock to connect North Carolinians to storm resources.
The North Carolina Disaster Relief Fund is available for donations to support North Carolina’s response to Hurricane Florence. To donate, visit governor.nc.gov or text FLORENCE to 20222.
Photo courtesy NC DOT