January 29, 2014
Hatteras and Ocracoke get little snow, only misery
from winter storm…WITH SLIDE SHOW
By IRENE NOLAN
lovers on Hatteras and Ocracoke islands were disappointed by the slight
½- to 1-inch snowfall – much less than 8 inches or so that was forecast
a couple days ago.
Instead of snow, we got only misery.
temperatures have been in the 20s all day. The roads are treacherous
for vehicles. Steps and walkways are icy and dangerous for even those
on foot. Schools are closed, but it’s so cold and there’s been so
little snow that few if any folks have been sledding. And the power has
been out on Ocracoke for much of the day.
of Oregon Inlet, there was more snow – 4 to 6 inches in Kill Devil
Hills, 6 inches in Manteo, and 7 inches in Duck and Southern Shores.
Billy Mitchell Airport in Frisco, only ½ inch of snow was measured,
although amounts were somewhat higher on northern Hatteras Island.
and Ocracoke had freezing rain, ice, sleet, and then a little snow
early this morning because of a layer of warm air aloft that moved in
yesterday afternoon. The precipitation was all rain overnight as
temperatures rose into the upper 30s.
Glenn at the National Weather Service in Newport said the office had
reports yesterday of ¼ inch of ice in Frisco and ½ inch in Ocracoke.
The ice, coupled with very gusty north winds led to today’s power outage on Ocracoke.
to Tideland EMC, Ocracoke’s problems began at 5:30 a.m. this morning
when a utility pole cross arm broke at the northernmost end of the
island along Highway 12, causing a total loss of power for Ocracoke’s
1,300 homes and businesses.
Tideland news release said that about six spans of power line also fell
to the ground, the result of a phenomenon known as galloping lines. The
“galloping” effect happens when ice builds up on power lines and wind
blows consistently in one direction causing the ice to form like the
wing of an airplane around the line. As wind gusts pick up, it causes
lines to blow around like they’re actually galloping. This puts
tremendous amounts of stress on utility poles, cross arms, and
EMC crews and contractors initially restored power to Ocracoke at 10:10
a.m., according to the release, but power went back out at 10:26 a.m.
because of unusually high loads on the island’s electric system.
co-op personnel sought to reduce the load and brought back up half of
the island’s electric system at 10:48 a.m. As the electric load
continued to grow, Tideland EMC asked for immediate emergency
conservation efforts and Hyde County officials issued a reverse 911
call to island residents asking for voluntary conservation.
the electric load normalized Tideland crews were able to restore power
to the rest of the island at 12:20 p.m. Crews then began work to clear
up scattered outages in the village affecting approximately 100
2:10 p.m. power once again went off at the island, the result of a
second broken cross arm as wind and ice continued to create galloping
lines. Crews replaced the second cross arm just south of Molasses Creek
and have manually removed as much ice as possible from beach front
power lines. Power was restored to the island at 4:25 p.m., and island
crews are now working to restore power to a few dozen remaining homes
that had problems unrelated to galloping lines.
advance of the storm, Tideland EMC staged additional crews on the
island more than doubling the available manpower to address ice and
wind related outages. Additional crews were also staged on the
mainland, but so far there have been no inland service problems for the
There have been few if any problems on Hatteras Island.
National Weather Service changed a winter storm warning to a winter
weather advisory this morning. The advisory is in effect until
noon on Thursday and is mostly for low temperatures, low wind chill,
and extremely hazardous roads.
at the Weather Service said temperatures will fall into the low 20s
tonight. Tomorrow the temperatures could rise to above freezing
for a brief period, and then fall on the southern Outer Banks to
freezing or slightly above.
and side streets will remain hazardous until temperatures rise into the
40s on Friday and then into the 50s over the weekend.
county schools and government, as well as the National Park Service
will reassess conditions late tomorrow and make decisions for Friday.
- Dare and Hyde county schools remain closed.
- Dare and Hyde county offices and courts remain closed.
National Park Service’s facilities on the Outer Banks – Cape Hatteras
National Seashore, the Wright Brothers National Memorial, and Fort
Raleigh National Historic Site – remain closed tomorrow.
addition, all of the state’s ferry routes remain shut down until
conditions improve. Real-time updates are available on the North
Carolina Ferry System’s Facebook page, and on its Twitter account
CLICK HERE TO VIEW SLIDE SHOW FROM OCRACOKE
CLICK HERE TO VIEW SLIDE SHOW FROM HATTERAS