Repairs to damaged Hatteras Island, Ocracoke Island power lines could take up to two weeks

Posted at 9:05 PM, Jul 30, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-31 17:49:52-04

HATTERAS ISLAND, N.C. - Officials say repairs to fix a massive power outage on the Outer Banks that has impacted the flow of electricity to Hatteras and Ocracoke Islands could take up to two weeks to repair.

Transmission lines to the islands were damaged Thursday by contractors working on the new Bonner Bridge.

Sunday morning, the Cape Hatteras Electric Cooperative confirmed that all three transmission lines that provide power to the islands were compromised in the accident.

However, on Monday, further testing revealed only two of the three underground transmission cables sustained damage.

Crews are currently working on two solutions to repair the lines.

The first solution includes continuing to excavate the damaged cables and work to splice them back together. Splicing on the first cable is already complete.

The second option, which began early Monday morning, involves building a new overhead transmission line that would run from the south end of the Bonner Bridge to meet the cooperative's existing overhead transmission line.

Both options are being worked on and CHEC says depending on which ends up being the most practical, the time line for completing a repair would be one to two weeks.

There are still efforts underway to provide additional generator power to temporarily restore the normal load.

Gov. Roy Cooper visited the impacted areas on Monday. "It's a lot of money that is being lost on a daily basis and that's why it's so important to get this done quickly," Cooper said.

One of the impacted businesses, Rodanthe Surf Shop, is losing thousands of dollars a day, according to the owner. "For the past couple of days I've been numb," Jason Heilig said. "It's been a terrible surprise."

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