Bridge Access & Re-Entry Information
Bridge Closure and Re-Opening
- Timing of the bridge closures and re-openings will be publicized in the same manner as the evacuation information ( CodeRED, Social Media, e-notifications, local TV, radio)
- The bridge will close to all traffic when travel is determined to be dangerous due to weather conditions such as heavy rain and high winds (usually at 50 mph sustained or greater).
- Once closed, the bridges will not re-open until the storm has passed and a safety assessment has been conducted.
- Only properly identified emergency personnel will be allowed access to the island until the bridges are open to the public.
- If there is severe damage on Ocean Isle Beach, re-entry may be strictly limited. To learn more about re-entry procedures, view the Re-Entry Information section posted below.
Re-entry after evacuation is hereby forbidden on the island of the Town of Ocean Isle Beach until authorized by the Mayor of the Town of Ocean Isle Beach; except to the Mayor and such designees as he/she may authorize. Such being limited to the Town Commissioners, Town Administrator, Law Enforcement Officers, Fire Chief and his designated officers, Town Employees and Public Utility Company Representatives. The Police Chief shall be hereby explicitly authorized to re-enter after evacuation as to designate such emergency personnel for re-entry as is deemed necessary to protect life and/or property.
All residents or property owners are required to display a Property Owner Decal.
Re-entry shall be accomplished in four (4) levels:
Stage 1. Only Damage Assessment Team and Town Personnel
Stage 2. Businesses and Property Owners with Decals
Stage 3. Contractors with Decals
Stage 4. Normal Traffic
- The Town of Ocean Isle Beach will permit re-entry after an evacuation according to the following guidelines. The Town acknowledges that no two evacuations will be alike and it is impossible to predict the aftermath of any disaster, but in an effort to be fully prepared for such a situation the following procedure has been established.
- Town re-entry will occur in many stages, depending upon the severity of the disaster. Since it is not possible to predict precise time frames for the stages of re-entry, none have been given. It is the intent of the Town to allow re-entry as soon as the highways are passable, major safety hazards are appropriately contained and utilities have been restored. It is the intent of the Town to strictly limit the entry of sight-seers and the general public.
STAGE 1 - ESSENTIAL PERSONNEL ONLY
The initial survey will be completed by the Damage Assessment Team and essential personnel. Access within the Town during Stage 1 is limited because of impassable roadways (including the bridge) due to large amounts of building debris, vegetative debris, sand or roadways which have been washed away, electrical hazards and utility malfunctions.
STAGE 2 - PROPERTY AND BUSINESS OWNERS
At any time during Stage 2, access will be allowed to Property and Business Owners, yet limited access may remain on side streets and secondary roads due to large amounts of building debris, vegetative debris, sand or roadways which have washed away.
The “Property Owner or Business Decal” must be permanently affixed and visible on the driver’s side of the vehicle at all times.
- No trailers allowed.
- Access is to secure and/or stabilize property only.
- All access is at your own risk.
- Persons must obey all emergency proclamation issued by the Town due to the disaster. These typically include:
- All persons must stay on their own property at all times
- Travel within Town is only permitted to enter and exit the Town
- All persons in Town must obey curfews
- All persons entering Town must provide the required identification to any Town Official, Police Officer or Military Personnel upon request to verify their entry.
- Residents, property owners, business owners and contractors may enter Town according to the following restrictions at designated entry stage:
- Property owners must present an Ocean Isle Beach Property Owner Windshield Decal – Stage 2
- Business owners must present an affixed Ocean Isle Beach Business Windshield Decal – Stage 2
- Contractors must present an affixed Ocean Isle Beach Contractor Windshield Decal – Stage 3
STAGE 3 - CONTRACTORS
Special Restrictions for Contractors:
1. Contractor decals may be purchased at the Building Inspections Department. A decal will be required for each vehicle wanting to obtain access to the Island.
2. Contractors are not allowed to solicit additional business while on the Island.
3. The Contractor decal must be permanently attached and visible in the driver’s side of the vehicle at all times.
4. May purchase a maximum of five (5) decals.
STAGE 4 - GENERAL PUBLIC
Following a determination of no safety risks, and the restoration of all essential services having been completed, the Mayor shall execute a proclamation terminating the State of Emergency and the associated prohibitions. At this time, the Town of Ocean Isle Beach will return to normal operating conditions and the Island will be opened to the general public.