Help on way to hundreds trapped by flooding on Ocracoke Island

Saturday, September 7, 2019
Outer Banks deluged by flooding from Hurricane Dorian
Outer Banks residents were deluged by flooding from Hurricane Dorian.

OCRACOKE, N.C. -- Hurricane Dorian is continuing to churn northeast, away from North Carolina and toward eastern Canada.

In an 8 p.m. advisory, the National Hurricane Center said the storm is about 275 miles south-southwest of Nantucket, Massachusetts, and travelling northeast at 24 mph.

The Category 1 storm continues to have maximum sustained winds of 90 mph. Forecasters expect Dorian to bring hurricane-force winds to parts of Nova Scotia on Saturday night.

Water levels in North Carolina are expected to continue to recede Friday night and Gov. Roy Cooper said help has been dispatched to Ocracoke Island, and that food and water are on the way to those stranded there.

The island is accessible only by boat or air and has seen significant flooding caused by Hurricane Dorian.

Ngas Head whipped by Dorian. Brittany Bell reports.

Cooper also said on Friday that assessments are underway to determine the damage that Hurricane Dorian left behind.

"Finally, Hurricane Dorian has left North Carolina," Cooper said Friday. "And we're getting a look at the damage it brought."

First responders will airlift anyone who may have been injured, and others who need to leave the island. A shelter in Washington County will accommodate people from Ocracoke who need temporary housing.

NC12 is Ocracoke is in serious disrepair after Hurricane Dorian on Friday.
Courtesy of NCDOT

A 79-year-old man in immediate need of medical attention was among the first airlifted to safety, Cooper said Friday afternoon.

Damage assessments are underway in southeastern North Carolina, and emergency management personnel are prepared to move supplies into the areas that need them.

Cooper plans to tour Emerald Isle and Carteret County on Saturday to take a look at damage caused by the hurricane.

The storm surge inundated Ocracoke Island, Cooper said. The governor said the island had no electricity and that many homes and buildings remains underwater.

Damage along Hatteras, where Dorian made landfall.

The county also says it is hoping to have the ferry routes evaluated on Saturday, adding that as soon as possible, it will perform evacuations by ferry.

About 800 people stayed and weather out the storm, Cooper said.

Hyde County Sheriff's Office said it was responding to reports of "catastrophic flooding on Ocracoke Island."

Flash flood emergencies have been issued for Dare and Hyde counties. Cooper said officials are telling people to get to the highest point in their houses.

"There is significant concern about hundreds of people trapped on Ocracoke Island," Cooper said. "This latest development shows that we cannot yet let our guard down."

Hurricane Dorian continues to move through North Carolina, hundreds are feared to be trapped in 'catastrophic flooding' conditions on Ocracoke Island.

Ocracoke Island resident Leslie Lanier said some residents on the thin strip of land on North Carolina's coast have had to climb into their attics to escape risung water from Hurricane Dorian.

Lanier said via text message Friday morning that some first floors have been flooded. But she added that the water level has started to drop. Lanier owns a bookstore on the Outer Banks island. She said she's OK but "nervous and worried."

According to ABC11 Meteorologist Don "Big Weather" Schwenneker the flooding should not totally be blamed on the rain from Hurricane Dorian. He said the storm dropped about 6.5 inches of rain on Ocracoke.

The flooding is mostly due to Hurricane Dorian's wind, which caused storm surge that backed up and flooded the island. Official numbers for the size of the storm surge have not yet been released.

Video from tea shop shows severe flooding in Ocracoke (Credit: Moonraker Tea Shop)

Dorian came ashore Friday morning at Cape Hatteras on North Carolina's Outer Banks, but it had been pummeling the coast for hours before that.

At the start of the week, the storm slammed the Bahamas, killing at least 30 people and obliterating countless homes. From there, it swept past Florida and Georgia before sideswiping the Carolinas on Thursday with tornadoes that peeled away roofs and flipped recreational vehicles.