Hyde County is working to address on Ocracoke Island the vehicles flooded during Hurricane Dorian that have been abandoned or discarded alongside the village’s roads and on National Park Service property.
Many of the abandoned vehicles are in the state Department of Transportation right-of-way north of the village, which is within the boundaries of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, and must be removed by Dec. 20 to avoid citation for illegal dumping, county officials announced Tuesday.
The park service has legal authority to issue violation notices to the owners of abandoned vehicles and to recover the cost of towing the vehicles off of seashore property.
For vehicles outside of park service boundaries, Hyde County has an abandoned vehicle ordinance that grants the county authority to remove abandoned vehicles from county property. The process requires that the county identify the owner of each vehicle and notify them of their responsibilities and liabilities in regard to proper legal disposal.
County commissioners discussed this month a proposed amendment that will further allow Hyde County to take possession of and dispose of abandoned vehicles throughout the county. This proposed ordinance will allow Hyde County to include removal of flooded and abandoned vehicles under the county’s current Dorian debris removal program. The abandoned vehicle ordinance is expected to be considered during the board’s January meeting.
To avoid being cited by the park service or incurring disposal costs for the removal of vehicles from the village, Hyde County recommends the owners of abandoned or discarded vehicles contract with private towing companies for removal of their property. The two private tow companies serving Ocracoke are Jarvis Towing Co. at 252-475-4285 and OBX Towing 252-588-0001.