Thousands Evacuate Outer Banks After Power Outage

A transmission line that supplied power to both islands was severed when “PCL Construction, the company building Bonner Bridge, accidentally drove a steel casing” into an underground transmission cable run by the Cape Hatteras Electric Cooperative, the statement said.

The power link between the islands and the mainland is made up of three individual cables buried in the inlet. One of those three was severed by the casing and the other two were “compromised,” the cooperative said Sunday. Generators have restored power to some locations, but tourists are still not allowed on the islands.

“This is an incredibly frustrating time for Hatteras and Ocracoke residents and visitors and repairs have to be completed as soon as possible,” Mr. Cooper said in the statement. “Safety is our top concern, but getting power restored quickly is also key for local businesses and our tourism economy during the peak summer travel season.”


Customers entering the darkened Island Convenience Store in Rodanthe, N.C., on Hatteras Island on Friday.

Steve Earley/The Virginian-Pilot, via Associated Press

The islands are known for their beaches, campsites and fishing. Hatteras, home of the tallest brick lighthouse in the United States, and Ocracoke, once a haunt for Blackbeard the pirate, are in a string of barrier islands that make up the Outer Banks, which draw more than two million visitors annually.

Stacie Osborne, 35, visited Hatteras from Ohio and said she was in the middle of “the best family vacation we’ve ever had” when the outage hit. It was a minor inconvenience at first.

The family got supplies from a shop called the Blue Whale, but sleep was elusive.

“That first night was pretty hot,” she said. “We all changed sleeping arrangements to try to find a breeze. Some parts of the house were unbearable.”

Ms. Osborne and her family did not stay…

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