Power woes ‘dev­as­tat­ing’ for N.C. is­land busi­nesses

USA TODAY Weekend Extra - - NEWS -

The lights are out, the AC is off, and va­ca­tion is over for thou­sands of tourists slowly mak­ing their way off re­mote is­lands in North Carolina’s Outer Banks.

“It’s go­ing to be huge. The is­land was at ca­pac­ity when all this went down, and this is usu­ally the busiest time of the year,” said Donnie Shu­mate, a Hyde County spokesman. “It will be a ma­jor hit eco­nom­i­cally depend­ing on how long it lasts.”

The re­mote is­land of Ocra­coke is only ac­ces­si­ble by ferry, mak­ing it more dif­fi­cult for tourists evac­u­ate.

The power out­ages have wreaked havoc on tourism on Hatteras and Ocra­coke is­lands.

Les­lie Lanier, owner of Books to Be Red, an in­de­pen­dent book­store on Ocra­coke, has al­ready seen her busi­ness take a hit.

“We’re miss­ing, right now, the top of our sea­son,” she said. “Even a few days is go­ing to hurt, but if it lasts for a few weeks, it will be dev­as­tat­ing, and there will prob­a­bly be a few busi­nesses that end up clos­ing.”

STEVE EARLEY, AP

Aaron Howe cooks in the dark kitchen at the Is­land Con­ve­nience Store on Hatteras Is­land on Fri­day. Howe says it is the only place in town to get a meal.

STEVE EARLEY, AP

An­drew Kacz­marski, left, and brother Ed Kacz­marski said they were do­ing fine dur­ing the power out­age on Hatteras Is­land on Fri­day. They had 18 peo­ple stay­ing in one house.

ETHAN HYMAN, AP

Vicki Har­ri­son checks the tem­per­a­ture of the fish dis­play at Har­bor House Seafood in Hatteras, N.C., on Fri­day.

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