Shoaling concerns force Pamlico Sound ferry routes to adopt one-boat schedule
The North Carolina Department of Transportation announced Wednesday morning, August 5 that shoaling in Bigfoot Slough outside of Ocracoke’s Silver Lake Terminal continued with the passage of Tropical Storm/Hurricane Isaias this week. This has forced 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 Wednesday, 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.
NCDOT states that in order to safely run additional ferries, water levels in the channel must be at least nine feet deep. Current depths in some areas are less than eight feet. Bigfoot Slough is a federal channel maintained by the Army Corps of Engineers.
NCDOT states it 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.”