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BUXTON, N.C. (AP) — The Latest on a power outage on the North Carolina coast (all times local):

7:15 p.m.

The North Carolina Department of Transportation's Ferry Division is helping to evacuate thousands of visitors from Ocracoke Island because of a power outage.

In a statement, the department says priority boarding is suspended for all vehicles leaving Ocracoke. Tolls will be waived for ferry trips between Ocracoke and Cedar Island or Swan Quarter.

Officials in Hyde County issued a mandatory evacuation order for the island's estimated 10,000 visitors beginning at 5 p.m. Thursday. Visitors are asked to be off the island by noon Friday.

Evacuation procedures will remain in effect for all Ocracoke ferries until county emergency officials lift the order.

A construction company acknowledged damaging an electric transmission cable while working on a new bridge, causing a power outage affecting Ocracoke and Hatteras islands on the Outer Banks.


6:05 p.m.

Ten thousand tourists have been ordered to evacuate a North Carolina island following a power outage.

The evacuation order issued for visitors to Ocracoke Island in Hyde County went into effect at 5 p.m. Thursday. Officials say no one will be allowed onto the island unless they can prove residency.

Hyde County public information officer Donnie Shumate says there are some 10,000 visitors on the island. He said the main concern was for their safety, adding that officials want to get visitors off the island by noon on Friday.

A construction company says it drove a steel casing into an electric transmission cable early Thursday while working on a new bridge on the North Carolina coast, causing a power outage affecting Ocracoke and Hatteras islands.


4 p.m.

A construction company says it drove a steel casing into an electric transmission cable while working on a new bridge on the North Carolina coast, causing a power outage affecting two islands on the state's Outer Banks.

The Cape Hatteras Electric Cooperative says PCL Construction, the company constructing the new Bonner Bridge, informed the utility of the accident on Thursday, hours after power was disrupted to Ocracoke and Hatteras islands.

CHEC says it is working to assess the extent of the damage and plan for the repair. It says that if the materials are on hand, repairs could take several days. If materials are not available locally, repairs could take weeks.

CHEC also said it is currently providing temporary power to Buxton, Frisco and part of Hatteras Village through a diesel generating plant.


11:20 a.m.

All of Hatteras and Ocracoke islands along North Carolina's Outer Banks are without power, and authorities are advising residents and visitors to prepare for an extended outage.

Cape Hatteras Electric Cooperative officials say the breaker at Oregon Inlet was tripped about 4:30 a.m. Thursday, causing the outage. Several hours later, crews found a fault on the transmission cable attached to the Bonner Bridge.

Officials say about 9,000 customers are without power on the two islands — about 7,700 on Hatteras and another 1,300 on Ocracoke.

They hope to bring diesel generators online, but they'll likely only be able to supply Buxton with power and only if people turn off air conditioning and reduce other electrical use.

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