Tourists leave North Carolina island; local businesses hurt
A “steady stream” of tourists left a North Carolina island Saturday under evacuation orders prompted by a widespread power outage, wiping out a significant chunk of the lucrative summer months for local businesses.
It could take days or weeks to repair an underground transmission line damaged early Thursday by construction crews working on a new bridge between islands. The construction company drove a steel casing into an underground transmission line, causing blackouts on Ocracoke and Hatteras islands.
As of 2 p.m. Saturday, North Carolina ferries had evacuated about 3,800 people and 1,500 cars from both islands, according to Gov. Roy Cooper's office.
Cooper said he called local officials to pledge state help.
“We'll do all we can to get repairs moving,” he said in a release Saturday.
Dare County spokeswoman Dorothy Hester had no estimate for how many people still needed to leave Hatteras Island.