Hurricane FAQs

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  • What is the latest information on the hurricane and when is it supposed to hit Ocean Isle?

The latest briefings from the National Weather Services office in Wilmington will be posted on our website and social media. We will update all media outlets when new information is available as well as our main  hurricane information page.

  • What does a state of emergency mean? Does this mean we must evacuate?

A State of Emergency is declared in order to tap into state and/or federal funding and assistance when weather-related or other events have the potential to cause significant damage to an area. It does not necessarily mean that an order of evacuation or curfew has been instituted.

  • When will the bridges be closed?

The bridges will be closed when sustained winds reach 50 mph.

  • If I have to go to work or leave the island, how will I return to gather my belongings if a mandatory evacuation is ordered while I’m away?

The Town of Ocean Isle Beach will make an announcement prior to closing the bridges to allow residents time to collect items at home.

  • What criteria/factors decide whether or not we have to evacuate?

Evacuation recommendations are based on many factors including hurricane conditions, predicted rainfall amounts and storm surge, and other potential damaging effects that the hurricane could have. An order to evacuate is determined by the Mayor, as stated in the Town’s ordinances.

  • Who must evacuate?

Voluntary Evacuation: A voluntary evacuation indicates that conditions are likely to deteriorate and you may want to seek alternative shelter.

Mandatory Visitor Evacuation: A mandatory visitor evacuation indicates that all non-residents must evacuate the Town of Ocean Isle Beach and will not be allowed to return until the evacuation order is lifted.

Mandatory Evacuation: A mandatory evacuation indicates that all persons must evacuate the Town. Emergency services may be suspended at some point during the storm.

  • What happens if people choose not to leave during a mandatory evacuation? Can they be arrested?

YES, North Carolina General Statue 14-288.20A makes it a Class 2 misdemeanor to violate any provision of an ordinance or a declaration enacted or declared by a municipality in an effort to deal with a state of emergency. Under N.C.G.S 166A-19.31, a municipality has the authority to place restrictions, curfews or make evacuation orders in a state of emergency. It is unlawful to violate those restrictions or orders. It is always wise to comply with a mandatory evacuation order as it may save your life or the life of another.