MANNS HARBOR, North Carolina — The shifting sands along the Outer Banks have been cleared away from a ferry channel between Hatteras and Ocracoke islands, allowing the ships to resume their regular route for the first time in five months.
North Carolina's transportation department says the original Hatteras-to-Ocracoke route was ready to resume on Sunday.
A storm pushed sand into the ferry channel on Jan. 18, making it too shallow for ferries to travel safely. An alternate route was in use since Jan. 22. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has been dredging out a 12-foot deep path for ferry travel since May 31, work that wrapped up Saturday.
The return of the original route means there will be 32 daily trips in each direction, starting at 5 a.m. from both Hatteras and Ocracoke.