Video by Scott Caldwell
The new submarine cable which will create a more reliable connection to power for Ocracoke Island has arrived on Hatteras Island, and work to install the cable will begin in earnest in the weeks to come along Pole Road at the end of Hatteras village.
The project, which is orchestrated by Tideland Electric Membership Corporation (EMC), will effectively remove the aerial power lines from Pole Road at the southern end of Hatteras Island, switching to the submarine cable that will be a far more reliable power source.
Formally known as Ramp 55, but referred to by Hatteras locals as Pole Road, this section of shoreline that borders Hatteras Inlet has lost an estimated 1.5 miles of land since Hurricane Isabel in 2003. This southern terminal of Hatteras Island is also the hand-off point from Cape Hatteras Electric Cooperative to Tideland EMC, with the string of aerial power lines and submarine cables providing power for Ocracoke Island. With the shoreline gradually disappearing, a move to submarine cables is required to ensure that this connection stays intact.
Per the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, sections of Pole Road will be intermittently closed during Tideland Electric Membership Corporation’s underground cable installation project. The south end of Pole Road may not be accessible to off-road vehicles during the project due to beach erosion.
Construction is estimated to take approximately two months. After the underground cable is installed, the existing overhead line will be removed, which will allow the present line route to return to its natural vegetative state. Pole Road will continue to serve as an off-road vehicle route after the project is completed.