Workers replacing a pipe running under U.S. 158 at the Nags Head Town Hall accidentally damaged a fiber optic cable that cut off most communications on Hatteras Island for more than seven hours on Tuesday, Feb 14.
The cable maintained by Brightspeed, formerly known as Centurylink, provides high-speed data service that supplies internet and video services, and also feeds mobile device tower sites south of Oregon Inlet. The cable was damaged around 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday.
Some residents on Hatters Island said they were able to get limited cell service for a few minutes at a time during the outage. Data services were partially restored on the island around 8-9 p.m., with full service from all internet providers on Hatteras Island restored by midnight.
The pipe replacement is part of the South Croatan Highway resurfacing project that required the closing of the Beach Bypass in both directions on Monday and part of Tuesday. Southbound lanes were reopened to traffic around 3 p.m. Tuesday, and the northbound lanes are expected to reopen before the end of the week.
Per several reports, there were no medical emergencies on Hatteras Island during the seven-hour outage, however, if a future outage occurs, the public is advised to seek help at their local Volunteer Fire Department or EMS Station, where personnel can use radio communications to alert proper agencies.