GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) —Starting at noon Friday, visitors began to return to Ocracoke and Hatteras Islands after they were forced to evacuate due to a power outage.
Visitors piled onto the ferry at Swan Quarter to get back to Ocracoke Island, whether it was for a bachelor party, a family reunion or just to enjoy the beach.
The mandatory power restrictions for Hatteras Island have also been lifted to allow CHEC to complete the safe stabilization of the power grid.
Travelers with plans to visit the Outer Banks can call 1-800-Visit-NC for updated information that may impact their plans. Vacationers who have rented properties on the islands are encouraged to contact their rental agency. More information about vacation renters’ rights is available from the Attorney General’s Office.
After initially estimating it could take up to two weeks for power to be restored to Hatteras and Ocracoke islands, the Cape Hatteras Electric Cooperative said they now expect power to be restored in one to two days.
Crews are continuing to construct a new overhead line to restore transmission power to the islands.
They worked late Wednesday night to connect the new overhead cables to the grid. That work is expected to be completed Thursday morning and the cooperative will begin to energize the new line.
The new line will need to stay energized for several hours while the cooperative tests the cables. After testing, CHEC will begin to gradually introduce electrical load to the line.
Residents on Hatteras Island in the villages of Rodanthe, Waves, Salvo, Avon and Buxton will experience outages while the cooperative works to take these circuits off of generator power and energize them with the repaired transmission line.
The cooperative will work to give these villages notice of impending outages.