Winds cause power outages, grounded ferries

Published 6:30 pm Thursday, April 6, 2017

Thursday’s strong winds caused trouble for some Beaufort County residents.

After a line of strong thunderstorms passed through early Thursday morning, winds between 20-30 mph, with the possibility of gusts up to 45 mph, lingered.

Power outages occurred on the south side of the river, stretching from Blounts Creek to Aurora.

Tideland Electric Membership Corp. reported outages across its service area, affecting hundreds of people, starting early on Thursday. Around 1:30 p.m., Tideland reported the heaviest outages occurring in Blounts Creek. Ocracoke Island also had its power knocked out.

By 3 p.m., there were scattered outages remaining in Beaufort, Washington and Pamlico counties, affecting almost 200 customers, according to Tideland EMC. Power was restored later in the evening.

S.W. Snowden Elementary School experienced a power outage, as well. Principal Catherine Tahaney said the students were sent home early Thursday and an afterschool program was cancelled. Power was restored at the school around 3 p.m., and no other schools experienced outages.

The strong winds also grounded some ferry routes: Bayview-Aurora, Swan Quarter-Ocracoke, Cedar Island-Ocracoke, Hatteras-Ocracoke and Cherry Branch-Minnesott Beach. Residents are asked to follow @NCDOT_Ferry on Twitter for real-time route updates today. Pamlico Sound routes were already altered due to the Motor Vessel Sea Level’s grounding on a sandbar, and impending inspection, earlier this week.

Strong winds are expected to continue today, and a wind advisory from the National Weather Service will remain in effect through 6 p.m.

“Secure any loose items, such as patio furniture, and any small objects that may become projectiles,” a NWS press release stated. “Winds this strong can make driving difficult, especially for high-profile vehicles. Use extra caution.”