N.C. Power Outage

Outer Banks blackout causes 45K evacuation, state of emergency over weekend

North Carolina’s Outer Banks shoreline lost power on Thursday afternoon of last week, causing over 45,000 tourists to evacuate the region and requiring a national state of emergency alert. A week later, local businesses affected by the blackout are suing a construction company after being hit hard during peak vacation season at the popular tourist destination.

Crews accidentally severed a transmission line providing power to Hatteras and Ocracoke Islands July 27, and a North Carolina law firm is arguing for negligence in announcing a class action lawsuit has been filed against the construction company responsible.

State officials estimated around 45,000 tourists were evacuated from the two islands. Crews have reportedly continued to make progress in the week since the incident, but choppy waters and a litany of jobs remain ahead. Cape Hatteras Electric Cooperative is reportedly working to repair the underground transmission line, but repairs may take longer since they are simultaneously working to build a new overhead transmission line that would run along Bonner Bridge, according to local news outlet WITN. The GIF below shows a NASA satellite image with visible areas of darkness along Hatteras and Ocracoke:

Crews have already set seven of the required 10 transmission poles along the bridge. As for the underground transmission cable, two of the three lines have been uncovered, and CHEC says it has completed the splice on the first line. It also reports crews are working to expand temporary generators power on Hatteras Island to accommodate a staged reentry of visitors.

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