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Tideland EMC issues service advisory ahead of winter storm, other weather updates

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Editor’s note: See important information below about breaker shut off and restoration to prevent system overload when power is restored, should there be a loss of power

With the National Weather Service’s latest forecast, also here ,calling for a winter weather advisory for eastern North Carolina, Tideland Electric Membership Corporation is expecting widespread power outages in to members served in Hyde, Dare, Pamlico, Craven, Beaufort and Washington counties.

Widespread power outages are expected along much of the east coast including eastern North Carolina. Some areas of the Tideland service territory may experience blizzard conditions with snowfall up to 10 though Ocracoke may see one to two inches of snow.

Highest winds through the region are expected in Hyde and Dare counties with varying estimates: between 23 mph in Swan Quarter, 40 mph or higher on Ocracoke and 41 mph in Rodanthe. Also, sound side flooding and overwash on Hatteras may occur.

Forecasters do not anticipate ice accumulation east of Swan Quarter, including Ocracoke. Currently, at 6:44 p.m., Ocracoke is experiencing rain and wind and the low is forecast to be around 30 degrees with winds at 25 to 40 mph and could occasionally gust over 50 mph.

Snow accumulations are forecast to less than one inch.

Tideland said dangerous ice accumulations are most likely to occur between New Bern and Belhaven.

Ice accumulation on power lines along with sustained winds can lead to galloping lines, a phenomenon for which there is little remedy other than manually beating the ice off the lines when and where possible.

In addition to all Tideland EMC personnel, the co-op has brought in 15 additional contract linemen and 10 tree trimmers to assist in power restoration as needed.

Because storm conditions are expected to peak between midnight and 6 a.m. Thursday, it is possible crews may not be able to respond to power outages until daybreak or when roads are deemed safe enough for travel.

Consumers are asked to plan for the possibility of extended outages throughout the day Thursday and into Friday.

If power does go out, consumers are asked to practice breaker shut off by cutting off all but one breaker for interior lights. When power is restored, breakers should be cut back on one at a time to help prevent utility system overloads.

Here is some other weather-related news.

The North Carolina Ferry Deivision announced that due to deterioting weather conditions, the Hatteras to Ocracoke route will be suspended at 9 p.m.

The Ocracoke School will make an announcement early tomorrow morning regarding its open status on their Facebook page Ocracoke School Campus.

Hyde County government offices closed Wednesday afternoon and will be closed on Thursday.

“We will evaluate conditions Thursday regarding Friday’s operational status,” said Hyde County Public Information Officer Donnie Shumate in an email.

National Park Service visitor facilities at Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Fort Raleigh National Historic Site, and Wright Brothers National Memorial, will be closed on Thursday.

Visitor facilities, including visitor centers and off-road vehicle permit offices, at all three parks are scheduled to return to normal operating hours on Friday.

During the storm, rough surf and ocean over wash are possible. Beach access ramps will remain open to off-road vehicles and pedestrians at Cape Hatteras National Seashore, but some beach routes may become hazardous and impassable during both high and low tide conditions.

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