An estimated 10,000 tourists face a noon deadline Friday for evacuating an island on North Carolina’s Outer Banks after a construction company caused a power outage, leaving people searching for a place to eat, stay cool or to resume interrupted vacations.
The Cape Hatteras Electric Cooperative said in a news release Thursday that PCL Construction told the utility it had driven a steel casing into an electric transmission cable while working on the new Bonner Bridge on the state’s coast, inadvertently cutting off power to Ocracoke and Hatteras islands.
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Officials ordered a mandatory evacuation for all visitors on Ocracoke Island effective at 5 p.m. Thursday. Hyde County public information officer Donnie Shumate said the main concern was for their safety, adding that officials want to get visitors off the island by noon Friday.
No one will be allowed onto the island unless they can prove residency, officials said.
The N.C. Department of Transportation’s Ferry Division said priority boarding is suspended for all vehicles leaving Ocracoke. Tolls will be waived for ferry trips between Ocracoke and Cedar Island or Swan Quarter.
The outage comes during peak…
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