Major power outage on Outer Banks; 9000 homes impacted

Massive Outer Banks Power Outage

Schwarzer said the unique situation of the problem - a manmade power outage in the waning weeks of the prime season - was especially unfortunate.

North Carolina's price gouging law is now in effect for Dare and Hyde counties after the governor proclaimed a state of emergency Thursday evening, according to the Attorney General's Office.

Tideland Electric says power went out to Hatteras and Ocracoke islands around 4:30 a.m. The Ocracoke Campground was closed until the evacuation order was lifted.

"Even with the additional seven portable generators, we are still gonna have to ask our guests and our residents to really conserve energy", Ertle said.

PCL Construction, which is building a new bridge between the Outer Banks and the mainland, said it accidently drove a steel casing into the underground transmission cable on the south side of Oregon Inlet on Thursday. "We understand hurricanes. This is not a hurricane", he said.

Cape Hatteras is famous for its surf and beach community.

As day two of power outages rolls on across Hatteras and Ocracoke Islands on the Outer Banks, residents have learned that rolling blackouts and limited generator-driven power will be a way of life for days, if not a week or more. Without power, air conditioners went silent and ceiling fans stopped humming as extremely humid temperatures reached 80 degrees (26 Celsius). No one will be allowed on the island unless they can prove residency.

Officials say about 9,000 customers are without power on the two islands - about 7,700 on Hatteras and another 1,300 on Ocracoke.

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"That means no air conditioning.no laundry, no dishwasher".

Leslie Lanier owns a book store on Ocracoke Island, and she said by Friday morning most of the vacation destination's thousands of visitors had left.

Dare County issued a water conservation alert for Hatteras Island customers during the outage, though there was no concern about water quality. "The beach that day was busier than I had seen all week", said Perry, who had been renting a house in Avon with her parents and brother since Saturday.

A few hours later a fault was found in a transmission cable attached to the Bonner Bridge.

By Friday morning, portable generators had power going to some local businesses, bringing back some normalcy to parts of Hatteras.

In the meantime, customers in Buxton and Frisco are asked to turn their AC off and minimize other electrical use so backup diesel generators can handle the load.

"We are hopeful that once these nine generators are installed, we can provide more continuous temporary power", said Laura Ertle, CHEC spokeswoman.

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