Massive Outer Banks Power Outage Causes Mandatory Evacuation

July 28, 2017

By Erik Linask - Group Editorial Director

In a case of absolutely inopportune timing, a construction crew cut an electric transmission line, causing power to be cut to Ocracoke and Hatteras islands in North Carolina’s Outer Banks.  PCL Construction was working on a new bridge connecting the Outer Banks to the mainland.

The incident, which officials say could take anywhere from days to several weeks, depending on the availability of materials locally, and puts a major damper on vacation plans for thousands of tourists in the heart of vacation season, who were evacuated off the islands.  Only those who can prove permanent residency on the islands are being allowed onto the islands.

In addition to the summer tourists, local businesses are facing a major impact from the outage, not only from lack of power, but from lack of tourism.  Power reportedly will be available on Hatteras Island throughout the weekend, but only in three-hour increments; there is no timeline for power restoration to Ocracoke Island.

Anytime power is cut, unprotected technology is immediately at risk, as outages can cause power surges that can be damaging to sensitive circuitry and can cause instant failure or weaken the circuits that can degrade over time. 

While the Outer Banks region isn’t home to massive corporate centers, there are many businesses that should be aware of the danger, and should take precautions to ensure their technology investments are safe.  Various types of power protection and UPS systems can ensure surges don’t damage any of the elements of network equipment, servers, storage devices, or other essential equipment.  While backup power won’t help keep businesses operational for lengthy outages, such as this, they will allow proper shutdown to ensure additional surges don’t cause damage, and give teams a chance to properly save and backup data and documents that could otherwise be lost.

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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