1 to 2 weeks for complete NC Outer Banks power cable repairs, officials say

One of three cables that were damaged. Photo from Cape Hatteras Electric Cooperative. CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE

CAPE HATTERAS, N.C. (WNCN) — Officials at the North Carolina Outer Banks said Sunday night that they were evaluating options for repairing damaged power cables and that a time line would be “from one to two weeks” for a complete repair.

Gov. Roy Cooper is scheduled to visit Bonner Bridge and travel to Rodanthe and Nags Head Monday to visit with businesses affected by the outage.

In a news release Sunday night, Hyde County officials said that all three power cables to Ocracoke and Hatteras islands were damaged – with one being completely cut.

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Officials said that crews were “currently working on two solutions to repair the lines” after construction crews building a new bridge damaged the cables, cutting power to islands where tourists were ordered to leave because of a lack of power.

One option would be to continue to excavate the other two damaged lines and splice them, authorities said.

Another option would include building a new overhead line that would go from the south end of the Bonner Bridge to an existing overhead line, officials said.

“Both options are actively being worked on and Cape Hatteras Electric Cooperative says depending on which solution turns out to be the most practical, the time line for a complete repair could vary from one to two weeks,” the news release said.

On Saturday, at least four massive portable generators were providing temporary power to much of the islands.

Officials Sunday again reminded residents or anyone on the islands that their power usage should follow guidelines, including limited or no air conditioning use.

“The success of operating the island on generator power depends entirely on residents and visitors observing the strictest conservation habits possible,” Tideland EMC said.

Authorities issued mandatory evacuations for visitors for Ocracoke and Hatteras islands after PCL Construction drove a steel casing into the underground transmission cables on Thursday.

PCL is building a new bridge over the Oregon Inlet, parallel to the current Bonner Bridge.

— The Associated Press contributed to this report

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