July 5, 2014
Ocracoke visitors leave as the island
copes with intermittent power
....WITH SLIDE SHOW
By CONNIE LEINBACH
Ocracoke was quieter Saturday, two days after Hurricane Arthur blew through.
visitors who did not leave in the voluntary evacuation departed, and
businesses are closed because of the sporadic power.
Ferries to Cedar Island and Swan Quarter were taking visitors and
others off the island, but visitors are not allowed on the island until
power is restored and Hyde County approves.
Tideland EMC crews
were busy today replacing 45 power poles that went down in the early
Friday morning maelstrom. Tideland was able on Friday to start the
Ocracoke generator and rolling power to a third of the village at a
time -- three hours on, six hours off. The company also stressed
that those residents and visitors on the island should not overload the
generators ---run only refrigerators and fans while the power is on.
Officials expect electric power to be fully restored sometime on Sunday.
the meantime, the only businesses open normal hours are the Variety
Store, Howard’s Pub, the Pony Island Restaurant, and the Back Porch
Restaurant since these businesses have generators. Ride the Wind and
Ocracoke Trading Company were also open when they had power.
Ann Warner, owner of Howard’s Pub, was busy Saturday greeting customers. The restaurant opened for lunch on July 4, she said.
“Visitors and residents are pleased to have respite from their living quarters,” she said about the steady business.
The Pub is also a place where folks can charge their cell phones.
“Every outlet—even in the kitchen--had something in it yesterday,” she said, pointing out several in use.
Many folks have had several meals at the Pub.
family is having their fifth meal here,” Warner said, indicating David
Riley and his wife Sarah and daughters Sophie and Eloise.
“It’s our first time on Ocracoke,” David said, adding that the group hunkered down in one room Thursday night.
cream vendor B.J. Oelschlegel, who manages the Slushy Stand, was hoping
her ice cream would survive after a few days without power.
“I packed it in down sleeping bags and comforters and covered it all with cardboard,” she said.
Justice, owner of the Fudge and Ice Cream Shop in Community Square, had
also packed his ice cream in Styrofoam and other insulation and was
confident it would be okay. The rolling power to his store was on late
yesterday afternoon, which helped, but not at Oelschlegel’s since a
downed electric pole had not been replaced until today.
Hanrahan, the island wildlife rehabilitation specialist who lives in
Jackson Circle, was busy tending stranded birds islanders had found --
seven baby pelicans, five older pelicans, a cardinal, a blue jay, and
“We brought nine baby pelicans that had washed over
from Beacon Island,” said Ruth Fordon, an islander who helped ferry
them to Hanrahan’s after Serena Barry, co-owner of Lightkeeper’s Guest
House, found the babies. “Serena’s the hero.”
said she will care for them for about six weeks. Then she will teach
them how to fish and dive before they are released.
to get their flight feathers in before they can be released,” she said
as she cradled a juvenile and clamped her hand over its beak.
Elsewhere on the island, the sound of generators is punctuated by the sounds of chain saws cutting up the many downed trees.
are lots of fallen trees all over the island,” said Mia Huff, co-owner
with her husband Tim of Island Property Care, as they cut up a tree
along First Avenue. Evidence of all the damaged trees can be seen
along village roads where people are piling limbs and logs in
anticipation of the chipper starting on Monday.
Highway 12 north of the Pony Pens was still closed this morning because of overwash.
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