December 17, 2015

Running on Generators: Today's report from CHEC


The second day of running all of Hatteras and Ocracoke islands on generator power has been helped by temperatures that reached the low 70s and only slightly hindered so far by rain showers.

At mid-afternoon on Thursday, Cape Hatteras Electric Cooperative reported on its Facebook page that all has been proceeding smoothly at the work site just south of the Bonner Bridge.

Cutting the transmission cables, relocating them, and then splicing them back together is a project that must be completed before contractors for the North Carolina Department of Transportation can begin construction of the replacement for the Bonner Bridge over Oregon Inlet.

Splicing the  cables back together is expected to take seven days from Dec. 16-22. During the power outage, all of Hatteras and Ocracoke will be running on generators, with a maximum load capacity of 24 megawatts. 

According to CHEC, the load with Thursday's mild temperatures was running at about 10 megawatts -- the same as yesterday.

CHEC reports that the contractor on the job, New River Construction, has tents -- with sides, if needed -- to protect the crews from rain.  The showers so far today have not been a problem, the cooperative says.

The National Weather Service is calling for heavier rains overnight and the passage of a strong cold front Friday afternoon  that will bring much cooler temperatures and northwest winds gusting over 30 mph.

The forecast continues to call for lows in the 40s Friday night with highs only about 50 during the day on Saturday.  Saturday night will be the coldest of the winter season so far, with lows in the upper 30s to low 40s. Temperatures will rebound to about 55 Sunday and then to the 60s early next week.

CHEC is asking members to start conserving power on Friday night for the cold weekend forecast.


Hatteras and Ocracoke islanders can follow the progress of the project and monitor the power usage in real time by following CHEC on Facebook and Twitter.  There will also be regular updates on Radio Hatteras -- 101.5 FM -- and on The Island Free Press website.

CHEC will post real-time updates as needed, including information on power usage.


Here are the tips that CHEC is offering for conserving power during the seven days that the island will be on generators -- especially for the weekend, beginning Friday evening.

Lower the thermostat: If you have your heat on, consider lowering the temperature by as much as 10 degrees. CHEC recommends a setting of 68 or lower.

Consider cold water settings when washing your laundry.

Turn off the pre-rinse and heat-dry settings on your dishwasher.

Take advantage of blinds and curtains: Open them during the day, especially on windows that face south. Let the sunshine in and warm your home. Close them at night to help insulate.

Keep ceiling fans off. Although you may think that you are blowing down warm air, people also feel a chill from the flow of air.

Conserving power can be as simple as unplugging chargers for phones and tablets, which draw energy when they aren’t in use.

Please do not use electric space heaters.


The Editor's Blog:  It will take a community to support seven days on generators.

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