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Hi, and welcome to my "Editor's Blog"! In this space I'll be attempting to keep our readers informed on fast-breaking news and issues affecting our islands. Visit often. There's a lot going on!

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Examining Options for Compensation after the Power Outage

Saturday 12 August 2017 at 01:08 am

By CATHERINE KOZAK

Even as people are still taking stock of losses related to the recent power outage on Hatteras and Ocracoke islands, at least six class-action lawsuits have been filed to collect damages for those who decide to join.

In addition, a patchwork of travel insurance and rental companies’ deposit reimbursement policies may or may not provide compensation for vacationers and the governor’s emergency declaration may or may not matter in collecting it.

What about business or wage and tip losses? Or potential decreases in tourism, the islands’ lifeblood? What about related costs from spoiled food or health issues created by lack of air conditioning?

Dare County plans to hold a community meeting next week on August 16 at 6:30 p.m. at the Fessenden Center to shed light on the confusing range of options available to residents, tourists, property owners and businesses affected by the week-long blackout.

“We’re going to provide all the information that we have to try to help people access the information to do whatever they need to do,” said county manager Bobby Outten, adding that legal advice will not be given. “I think people are concerned and upset that they lost the revenue that they did. Our goal at that meeting is to begin gathering information and answer any questions we can answer.”

PCL Construction, the contractor currently building the new Bonner Bridge, has taken responsibility for accidently cutting power cables on the south side of the bridge project on the early morning of July 27, leaving the islands with no electricity other than spotty coverage from emergency generators. Thousands of tourists had to be evacuated, and the islands were closed to visitors until Aug. 4.

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Searching for the Rare Bright Spots in the Power Outage

Friday 04 August 2017 at 12:17 am

By JOY CRIST

“If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans” – Woody Allen

So a little more than a week ago, I was working on a blog entry about erosion.

Then I went to bed on Wednesday night, July 26, and woke up the next morning - along with everyone else on Hatteras and Ocracoke Islands - to a dark and warmer-than-normal bedroom.

It was several hours later that the phrase “be prepared for an extended outage” popped up, and we all started to realize we may have a bigger than expected problem on our hands.

Then came Friday night, July 28. I was working on a blog entry geared towards visitors about conserving power when they came down the next day for their vacation. It was a tough piece to write – one that no one will ever read – because you are essentially asking people as nicely as possible not to use pools, or air conditioners… In July. In North Carolina.

And just as I was finishing up the spellcheck and shooting it to our publisher, we learned about the mandatory evacuation for visitors.

So this blog is literally “Take Three.”

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