Power woes ‘devastating’ for N.C. island businesses
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.”
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.
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.
Vicki Harrison checks the temperature of the fish display at Harbor House Seafood in Hatteras, N.C., on Friday.