Here is a briefing on everything we know about the power outage on Hatteras and Ocracoke Islands as of Thursday, 2:30 p.m.
Information on the Power Outage Itself:
At 4:30 a.m. on Thursday, the breaker at Oregon Inlet opened, causing a power outage for all of Hatteras and Ocracoke Islands. Cape Hatteras Electric Cooperative (CHEC) crews were dispatched immediately to find the source of the problem.
At 7 a.m., the source of the outage was determined to be a fault in a transmission cable that is attached to the Bonner Bridge. It was later confirmed that PCL Construction, the company constructing the new Bonner Bridge, had driven a steel
casing into the underground transmission cable that runs between the south end of the Bonner Bridge and the overhead riser pole, causing the current transmission outage.
Working with its transmission contractor, CHEC is assessing the extent of the damage and planning for the ensuing repairs. Assuming that the cooperative has the materials on hand to fix the damage, repairs could take several days to complete. If materials are not available locally, however, repairs could take weeks.
Information on Generator Power for the Islands:
CHEC is working to bring the diesel generators online. All of Buxton and Frisco villages are currently running on generator power, and CHEC has also picked up one circuit in Hatteras village.
Two portable generators have arrived on Hatteras Island. One is being hooked up in the Avon substation and the other is being hooked up in the Waves substation. A rolling blackout schedule is expected soon, as is a time frame for the power outage itself.
Tideland Electric Membership Corporation’s attempt to operate the Ocracoke generator earlier today was unsuccessful and resulted in damage that renders it inoperable.
Three mobile generators will arrive on Ocracoke Island on Friday on to operate the three island circuits starting tomorrow evening. With strict conservation, Tideland hopes to avoid rotating outages once generator power is in place.
Per Tideland, this will completely depend upon everyone on the island doing their part. Please make sure all large breakers and non-essential appliances / electronics / etc. are turned off and / or unplugged.
As of 5:00 p.m., the Hyde County Board of Commissioners has issued a mandatory evacuation of all non-residents. There is no deadline on when visitors must be off the island but it is requested that all visitors please attempt to be off the island by noon tomorrow. Ferries are currently running on their normal schedules, and Dare County officials are requesting that visitors that are evacuating via the Hatteras Ferry please try and get north of Oregon Inlet before attempting to get gas or find lodging as their resources are being affected by the same outage.
All visitors and residents are asked to TURN OFF AIR CONDITIONERS and minimize other electrical usage. Generator power is only possible if load is at minimal levels and everyone is conserving.
Multiple organizations have stressed that the cooperation of all residents and visitors in conserving energy is required in order to ensure that generator power can continue. Please turn off AC units and use power at the bare minimum..