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Aug. 3, 2017 10:15 a.m.
Cape Hatteras Electric Cooperative reported this morning that crews worked late into the night to connect the new overhead cables to the grid.
That work is expected to be complete this morning and CHEC will begin to energize the new line. The restoration time frame is one to two days.
Island businesses are as anxious to open as are visitors. This island shut-down is at the worst possible time for the island economy.
Jason Wells, co-owner of Jason’s Restaurant, said his peak money-making time is from the second week of June to the second week of August and this closure has meant a loss of one sixth of his peak-time income.
“I’m very emphatic that no one’s more disappointed that the visitors can’t come now than me,” he said, echoing the sentiments of all.
Other businesses will be seeking additional seasonal help when power is restored.
The new system, which involved putting up 11 new power poles along the east side of N.C. 12, bypasses an underground segment that was cut when the contractor for the new Bonner Bridge accidentally drove a steel casing into them last Thursday morning. The transmission system provides the only source of power for Hatteras and Ocracoke islands.
Next Steps: The new line will need to stay energize for several hours while the cooperative tests the cables. After testing, CHEC will begin to gradually introduce electrical load to the line. Resident 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.
Timeframe: The restoration timeframe from this point forward is one to two days.
Both CHEC and Tideland EMC are in daily meetings with their respective county officials to discuss the timing of evacuation order modifications. Until then both Hatteras and Ocracoke islands remain subject to mandatory evacuation orders for non-residents.
Maintenance: A 15-minute maintenance outage on the Northwest circuit powering Ocracoke Island is scheduled for 1 p.m. today. That circuit serves 419 meters including Howards Pub, Gaffers, OVFD firehouse, Variety Store, Anchorage, Jolly Roger, Water Plant, Fish House, NCCAT, Howard Street, South Ferry Terminal and British Cemetery areas.
Tideland is allowing island residents to utilize air conditioning and water heating but may request that those loads be restricted once again depending on daily outdoor temperatures, generator reliability and utility load.
“The success of operating the island on generator power depends entirely on everyone heeding our conservation calls when issued,” Tideland said.
A mandatory evacuation order for visitors is still in effect for Ocracoke Island and no one will be allowed on the island unless they can prove residency or property ownership.
Tideland encourages anyone interested to sign up for outage text or email messaging.
The following are directions from Tideland about receiving text messages:
Visitors to the island can simply text TEMC to short code 85700 and when prompted for an account number text the word Ocracoke and they will assign you to the Ocracoke substation group to receive island updates. (After you reply with Ocracoke you will receive another text asking for your account number. Just ignore it. We are manually overriding the account number requirement and coding your cell phone number to the proper messaging group. When you want to stop receiving our text messages simply text STOP to short code 85700 and you will be automatically unenrolled in the program.)