Ocracoke-mainland routes to run just a one-vessel schedule due to shoaling

Silver Lake Ferry Terminal in Ocracoke village on Sept. 6, 2019. [NCDOT image]

Shoaling in Bigfoot Slough outside of Ocracoke’s Silver Lake Terminal continued with the passage of Hurricane Isaias this week, forcing the N.C. Ferry Division to immediately adopt a one-boat schedule on Pamlico Sound until the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers can complete dredging operations.

The schedule, beginning today, will be as follows until further notice:

Ocracoke to Cedar Island: 7:30 a.m.
Cedar Island to Ocracoke: 10:30 a.m.
Ocracoke to Swan Quarter: 1:30 p.m.
Swan Quarter to Ocracoke: 4:30 p.m.

In order to safely run additional ferries, water levels in the channel must be at least nine feet deep. Currently, depths in some areas are less than eight feet. Bigfoot Slough is a federal channel maintained by the Army Corps of Engineers.

The N.C. Department of Transportation has urgently requested the Corps to perform emergency dredging operations in the area, calling the channel “an essential supply chain for commerce, tourism and goods for Ocracoke Island.”

This story originally appeared on OBXToday.com. Read More local stories here.