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Gov. Cooper: Hatteras, Ocracoke to open for business at noon Friday

Cape Hatteras Lighthouse (WTVD)

RALEIGH, N.C. — Gov. Roy Cooper on Thursday encouraged visitors to return to Hatteras and Ocracoke islands when evacuation orders lift at noon tomorrow following the restoration of power, according to a news release from the governor’s office.

“Residents and businesses on Hatteras and Ocracoke are ready to welcome visitors back to share their beautiful beaches and unique history and culture,” Cooper said. “Thanks to everyone involved including local and state officials for their tireless work to get power restored quickly and safely.”

State emergency management, transportation and law enforcement officials are working with their partners in Dare and Hyde counties to get residents and visitors safely back on Hatteras and Ocracoke islands, while also transitioning emergency supplies and workers off the islands, the release said.

The islands lost power a week ago following damage by a contractor to a critical transmission line from the mainland, prompting local officials to order all visitors to evacuate. Dare and Hyde counties have indicated that their evacuation orders for Hatteras and Ocracoke Islands will end at noon Friday.

Power has now been restored through construction of a new overhead transmission line that brings electricity from the mainland to Hatteras and then Ocracoke.

NC Department of Transportation ferries will return to their normal schedule as of 5 a.m. Friday. In accordance with proclamations from Dare and Hyde counties, visitors will be allowed to board Ocracoke-bound ferries beginning at noon.

Travelers with plans to visit the Outer Banks can call 1-800-Visit-NC for updated information that may impact their plans. Vacationers who have rented properties on the islands are encouraged to contact their rental agency. More information about vacation renters’ rights is available from the Attorney General’s Office.