Thousands told to evacuate Outer Banks after potentially longterm power outage

29 July, 2017, 00:57 | Author: Dustin Murphy
  • The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse the tallest lighthouse on the East Coast overlooks the Atlantic Ocean and the village of Buxton N.C. in this 2003

Priority boarding is suspended for all vessels leaving Ocracoke, and tolls will be waived for ferries on trips between Ocracoke and Cedar Island or Swan Quarter. All three generators were expected to be on the island Friday. The Cape Hatteras Electric Cooperative is managing rolling blackouts by running a large diesel generator in Buxton, and portable generators in Avon and Waves.

"It will be nice to sleep in air conditioning tonight", she said. "We know that they're getting frustrated, but we just really appreciate their patience".

The islands have had power disruptions and evacuations before, due to rare passing hurricanes. Without power, air conditioners went silent and ceiling fans stopped humming as extremely humid temperatures reached 80 degrees (26 Celsius). Two are being loaded on to ferries at Swan Quarter Friday afternoon for transport to Ocracoke Island.

Hyde County public information officer Donnie Shumate says there are some 10,000 visitors on the island.

The National Park Service said most of its facilities at the Cape Hatteras National Seashore would remain open, including visitors centers and offices as long as the heat didn't become excessive.

It was the 21st year that Erica Carlson's family vacationed on the Outer Banks, but the first time there was an extended power outage.


The construction company that acknowledged cutting an electric transmission cable that provides power to two North Carolina islands is digging at the site to determine the extent of the damage.

A state of emergency has been issued for Ocracoke Island due to a massive power outage that could take days or weeks to fix, according to WAVY.

It's hard to say how long the repairs will take.

"This declaration will allow us to move much needed resources through the state as quickly as possible to help restore the power to Ocracoke and Hatteras Islands", Cooper said.

PCL Construction, which is building a new bridge between the Outer Banks and the mainland, said it accidently drove a steel casing into the underground transmission cable on the south side of Oregon Inlet on Thursday. Spokeswoman Laura Ertle said Roanoke, Virginia-based New River Electrical Corp., which erected the cable on the original Bonner Bridge in 1995, is coming to the coast to dig up the cable to assess the damage.

On Thursday evening, Cape Hatteras Electric Cooperative tweeted that it was providing power to some customers on Hatteras Island through two portable generators and said it hoped to power up seven more portable generators on Friday.

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