UPDATE 12/6: The North Carolina Department of Transportation's Ferry Division announced Friday that it will be putting a fifth boat into service on the Emergency Ferry route between Stumpy Point and Rodanthe.

The M/V Frisco will be put into service beginning Monday, December 9. The Frisco will be making unscheduled 'shuttle' trips between ferry terminals to alleviate traffic backups whenever they occur.

OUTER BANKS--The North Carolina Department of Transportation's Ferry Division began operating its emergency ferry route between Stumpy Point and Rodanthe with limited service Tuesday night, and will begin a full schedule of runs on Wednesday, due to the closure of the Herbert C. Bonner Bridge Tuesday afternoon.

The division will be using four 180-foot River Class vessels to run the route, which takes two hours to complete. Maximum capacity will allow 760 single cars to cross each day, 380 from each side.

On Tuesday, departures began from Rodanthe at 6 p.m. and midnight, and from Stumpy Point at 9:30 p.m. and 3:30 a.m.

Starting Wednesday, the regular Stumpy Point-Rodanthe schedule will be:

Departing Stumpy Point at 5 a.m., 6:30, 8, 9:30, 11, 12:30p.m., 2, 3:30, 5, & 9:30.
Departing Rodanthe at 6 a.m., 7:30, 9, 10:30, Noon, 1:30p.m, 3, 4:30, 6, & 7:30.

The ferry division said in a news release that residents of Hatteras and Ocracoke Islands, as well as emergency personnel and vendors, will have tolls waived on Pamlico Sound routes between Ocracoke-Cedar Island and Ocracoke-Swan Quarter.

Since boats and crews are needed for the emergency route there will be fewer boats and crews for the Hatteras-Ocracoke route. The new schedule on that route, effective immediately, is:

Departing Ocracoke: 5 a.m., 7, 9, 11, 1 p.m., 3, 5, 7, 9, and 11.
Departing Hatteras: 6 a.m., 8, 10, Noon, 2 p.m., 4, 6, 8, 10, and midnight.

The division says that loading for the emergency ferry-route is on a first-come, first-served basis, Dare County Emergency Management has the ability to establish priority loading procedures if the need arises.

Ferry information is available by calling 800-293-3779, or via Facebook (North Carolina Ferry System) and Twitter (@NCDOT_Ferry).

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