Mandatory evacuations to continue Thursday from Ocracoke Island ahead of Hurricane Matthew

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SWAN QUARTER, N.C. (WNCT) – Hundreds of people evacuated Ocracoke Island Wednesday as preparations continue for Hurricane Matthew.

All visitors were ordered to leave the island before Thursday. Hyde County commissioners issued the mandatory evacuation Tuesday night.

Residents and property owners have until Thursday evening to leave the island.

Alan Becker who lives in Pitt County was attending a conference, but cut his trip short after learning about the warning. He tells WNCT cars have been lined up since five o’clock Wednesday morning waiting to catch the ferry.

“I’d say this morning between the Cedar Island Ferry and the Swan Quarter Ferry, there were probably over 150 vehicles waiting to get on there,” Becker said. “Like I said the urgency to get home and to be safe with their loved ones was definitely felt.”

The Swan Quarter Ferry ran at or near full capacity for most of the day. The ferry can hold 45 to 50 vehicles. Officials say the ferry Becker traveled on transported 47 vehicles to the mainland.

A mandatory evacuation has also been ordered for the Cape Lookout National Seashore.

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