PANTEGO, N.C. (AP) — A combination of ice and strong winds have plunged residents of Ocracoke Island into darkness twice within a 24-hour period.
Tideland EMC spokeswoman Heidi Smith said customers on the island first lost power at 5 a.m. Wednesday. Smith said the problem occurred when winds picked up while ice was still on power lines, causing the lines to jump up and down. That motion snapped a cross arm and brought down some wires.
After managing to restore power to the island, more windy conditions helped bring down more lines and caused another blackout around 2 p.m.
Smith said the utility based in eastern North Carolina approached a record for peak demand, in part because the lack of propane gas in the area means customers rely on space heaters to stay warm.