08/24/11

Hurricane Irene Update 8/24 – 3:00 PM

Dare County Activates the Joint Information Section

The Dare County Control Group has activated the Joint Information Section (JIS) in preparation for Hurricane Irene. All information regarding local government agencies in Dare County will be released through this source effective today.

Dare County Emergency Management is closely monitoring reports from the National Hurricane Center and plans are in place to handle whatever contingency may arise. Residents and visitors are encouraged to monitor local news outlets for further advisories from the National Weather Service and state and local emergency management officials.

The Dare County Control Group will meet later today, after the 5:00 p.m. storm advisory has been issued by the National Hurricane Center, to further assess the situation and take whatever action is necessary to assure public safety. Although Hyde County has issued an evacuation order for Ocracoke, there have been no evacuation orders issued, at this time, for any portion of Dare County.

Residents and visitors should now be making general storm preparations. This effort should include securing property and making contingency plans for evacuation, in the event an evacuation is ordered. Predetermining a destination is recommended. If an evacuation is ordered, consider calling ahead to make arrangements. During storm events, there are no emergency shelters operated in Dare County. North Carolina Emergency Management will operate shelters elsewhere and information will be announced later as it is made available.

The Ferry Division of NCDOT is assisting with the evacuation of Ocracoke Island running regular departure times from Ocracoke to Hatteras on a first-come, first-serve basis. All other ferry routes will continue to operate normal schedules until such time as they are required to tie up vessels for safety.

Rip current hazards are at a high risk in southern portions of Dare County including Hatteras Island. Wind and wave conditions at this time support a dangerous rip current advisory and are life threatening to anyone entering the surf.

In anticipation of this weather event, all NPS Campgrounds, Ocracoke, Frisco, Cape Point and Oregon Inlet, will close at noon today. The Ocracoke Campground reservation system has been temporarily suspended. The Silver Lake Marina NPS docks will close at noon today, Wednesday, August 24, 2011. The Ocracoke Visitor Center, Hatteras Island, Bodie Island and Wright Brothers and Fort Raleigh Visitor Centers will remain open until close of business today, Wednesday, August 24, 2011, then will remain closed until further notice. Previously scheduled evening programs for August 24 are cancelled. Lifeguard beach operations at Ocracoke, Buxton, and Coquina Beach will close at 5:00 p.m. today, Wednesday, August 24, 2011 until further notice.

The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse will close at 6:00 p.m. today until further notice. All park special programs scheduled for Founder’s Day, Thursday, August 25th, have been cancelled. Regularly scheduled Fall Interpretive programming will resume after the storm passes the area.

The Flags Over Hatteras event, scheduled for August 25-28, has been postponed until further notice.

Ocracoke beaches will be closed to off-road vehicles by 6:00 p.m. today and all other beaches in the National Seashore will close to off-road vehicles by 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, August 25th.

Dare County garbage pickup will be done on a regular basis through Friday, August 26.

The Town of Duck Emergency Operations Team has met and is preparing for the event.

The Town of Nags Head is watching Hurricane Irene closely. At this point, there are no changes to operating hours or Town services.

Contractors are reminded by the Dare County Planning Department to secure all loose materials at job sites.

Updates and bulletins will be issued on an as needed basis and will be available on www.darenc.com and Government Access Channel 20.

As soon as we have more information available, we will post a message on our Facebook page and here on our Blog site.

www.facebook.com/surforsound and http://hatterasblog.surforsound.com/


07/28/11

Rip Current Awareness

What are rip currents?
Rip currents are channels of water that develop in an opening in a sand bar. Though relatively narrow near the beach, rip currents can increase to over 50 yards in width as they extend up to 1000 feet offshore. The velocity of the water can be as high as 5 mph.

How to identify rip currents?
Rip currents can be identified before entering the water. Look for an area of murky water due to sediment mixing as the channel opened in the sandbar. If the rip current has lasted a long time, the color of the water will appear darker than the surrounding water because of the channel carved by the flowing water. Rip currents will also move objects and/or foam steadily seaward and will cause a break in the incoming wave pattern.

What to do if caught in a rip current?

* Remain calm. Remember, rip currents can pull a swimmer away from the shore but not under the water.
* Swim parallel to the shore until you break free, then swim diagonally toward the shore. Do not attempt to swim directly back toward the shore
* If you cannot swim out of the current, float until it weakens, then swim diagonally toward the shore.
* Ask for help by waving your hands.

Please keep in mind the following Safety Tips:

* Stay out of the water during dangerous surf conditions.
* Know how to swim. Non-swimmers should not rely on floats, such as boogie boards, while in deep water.
* Always swim near a lifeguard.
* Locate rip currents before entering the water.
* Tune in to NOAA weather radio and monitor websites (National Weather Service, Eastern Dare County, NC) and local media for updated surf conditions during your stay on the Outer Banks.
* Check with the lifeguards about rip currents and other hazardous conditions.
* Do not attempt to rescue someone caught in a rip current. Notify a lifeguard or, if there is no lifeguard, yell directions on how to escape, throw the victim something that floats, and call 911.

This information was provided by the National Park Service. For more information on rip currents, ask a lifeguard or check the website at http://www.ripcurrents.noaa.gov.


08/26/10

Rip Currents Awareness

What are rip currents?
Rip currents are channels of water that develop in an opening in a sand bar. Though relatively narrow near the beach, rip currents can increase to over 50 yards in width as they extend up to 1000 feet offshore. The velocity of the water can be as high as 5 mph.

How to identify rip currents?
Rip currents can be identified before entering the water. Look for an area of murky water due to sediment mixing as the channel opened in the sandbar. If the rip current has lasted a long time, the color of the water will appear darker than the surrounding water because of the channel carved by the flowing water. Rip currents will also move objects and/or foam steadily seaward and will cause a break in the incoming wave pattern.

What to do if caught in a rip current?
* Remain calm. Remember, rip currents can pull a swimmer away from the shore but not under the water.
* Swim parallel to the shore until you break free, then swim diagonally toward the shore. Do not attempt to swim directly back toward the shore
* If you cannot swim out of the current, float until it weakens, then swim diagonally toward the shore.
* Ask for help by waving your hands.

Please keep in mind the following Safety Tips:

* Stay out of the water during dangerous surf conditions.
* Know how to swim. Non-swimmers should not rely on floats, such as boogie boards, while in deep water.
* Always swim near a lifeguard.
* Locate rip currents before entering the water.
* Tune in to NOAA weather radio and monitor websites (National Weather Service, Eastern Dare County, NC) and local media for updated surf conditions during your stay on the Outer Banks.
* Check with the lifeguards about rip currents and other hazardous conditions.
* Do not attempt to rescue someone caught in a rip current. Notify a lifeguard or, if there is no lifeguard, yell directions on how to escape, throw the victim something that floats, and call 911.

This information was provided by the National Park Service. For more information on rip currents, ask a lifeguard or check the website at http://www.ripcurrents.noaa.gov.


08/12/08

Hatteras Island Beach Safety Made Simple

There’s nothing like kicking off the flip flops and jumping in for a refreshing Atlantic dip. A few simple safety precautions and tips are all you’ll need to ensure a fun and sunny beach day.

Lifeguarded Beaches

Lifeguarded beaches are located in Buxton by the old lighthouse site, (follow the brown National Park Service signs), and on Ocracoke Island. There are also lifeguards in the Seashore at Coquina Beach, located across from the Bodie Island Lighthouse. It is a great place to stop on your way to Hatteras Island. All lifeguards are seasonal, so check out the National Park Service website, http://www.nps.gov/caha/ before your arrival to determine hours of operation. You can also call (252) 473-2111 to check dates & shifts of guard service.

Rip Currents

Rip currents or Rip tides are created by breaks in a sand bar off shore and can be dangerous. Rip currents are channels of water, usually 10 ft. – 50 ft. wide, that pull out into the ocean. Continue reading