Updated. Corrected Sept. 9, 2019, 9:32 a.m. as to location of portable showers and laundry.
By Connie Leinbach
Electricity to the island is being evaluated and cannot be turned on until all of island electric meters are inspected and deemed safe.
Three building inspectors are going around the village today (Sunday) and evaluating every meter box, said Tom Pahl, Ocracoke’s county commissioner.
“If a box is determined to be compromised, it will be removed and electricity shut off to that house,” he said.
It’s not the meter that’s the issue. The issue is how high water has risen into the house.
“If the water rose high enough into your house to cause a short circuit, we can’t turn on the electric because that would cause a fire,” he said. “The meter acts as a switch.”
Once that work is done, Tideland Electric Membership Cooperative will be in a position to feel safe turning on the generator.
Water came into Tideland facility higher than ever, he said.
Tideland is bringing in resources Monday and Tuesday to do repairs to a few poles knocked down or over in the village and at the north end.
Resident re-entry: Hyde County officials are discussing reentry for residents. Ocracoke is still under a mandatory evacuation although that has been lifted for the mainland.
“I’ve been getting lots of calls from residents,” Pahl said. “We’re working with Tideland, Ferry Division and Hyde County officials to get homeowners back as soon as possible.”
Debris: Hyde County has a debris contractor on the island now and residents are urged to put only demolition debris out by the road, such as, mattresses, carpets, appliances goes out by the road;
Just put it out front, he said, though it may be some time before it gets picked up.
Do not put out household trash that can be ripped into by animals.
Household trash can be taken to the Ocracoke dump starting tomorrow, Pahl said.
“But only household trash,” he said. “We will turn you away if you bring anything else. We’re trying to get a generator there so we can run the compactor.”
Water: Although the water is back on, with a boil water advisory, Pahl said four shower trucks from will on be the island and are set up at Jerniman’s (the gas station) campground.
Child care: Ocracoke Child Care will open from 12:30 to 4 p.m. Monday for drop-in childcare for children ages 3 and older. Juju Baker, Karen Lovejoy and others will be on hand to care for the children if parents need to work on their homes and businesses.
Open hours after that will be determined.
Volunteering and donations: Anyone who wants to make donations or get on a work crew can email firstname.lastname@example.org and please include number of people, supplies/resources you have, tools, skill level, name and phone number.
“We set up the email so our phones aren’t blowing up,” said Mary Ellon Ballance of Hatteras, who is on the island helping with logistics.
Ocracoke School took a big hit of water, Pahl said.
“Some of the rooms still have standing water,” he said. “It’s a mess and needs to be cleaned up as soon as possible.” Ocracoke School is closed until further notice.
Food for all: Fat Fellas from Cedar Island have a food truck set up at the Ocracoke Oyster Company at 12:30 with fried chicken, burgers and all the trimmings. Barbecue for dinner tonight.