Repairs continue on Roanoke Sound power line

By on July 15, 2013

Crews from Crofton Industries began staging diving platforms on Thursday at the Washington Baum boat ramp (submitted photo).

Crews from Crofton Industries began staging diving platforms on Thursday at the Washington Baum boat ramp (Austin Harley).

Dominion Power is continuing repairs to an underwater power line that was responsible Wednesday for plunging all of Roanoke Island, along with South Nags Head and Manns Harbor, into a blackout for several hours.

The line, which contains two primary circuits and a backup, runs under the Roanoke Sound alongside the Washington Baum Bridge between Nags Head and Manteo.

Crews from Dominion were working Wednesday on the circuit that feeds much of Manteo and northern Roanoke Island. It had malfunctioned early Tuesday and knocked out power for several hours.

A crewman at the scene said Wednesday evening that when they switched over to the back-up line the whole system failed on land, including the other circuit, which feeds the southside of Manteo, Wanchese and Tideland Electric customers on Manns Harbor.

That knocked out power around 4:30 p.m. to approximately 6,000 customers, including those from the Tanger Outlet Center to the National Park Service border on South Old Oregon Inlet Road in South Nags Head, and along the U.S. 64 causeway.

A Dominion employee, who asked not to be named, called it “the worst possible scenario” and added the cause of Tuesday’s initial outage had not been determined.

All customers were back online by midnight, although there were some additional scattered outages in Manteo reported just before sunrise Thursday.

Equipment from Crofton Industries, a Portsmouth Va.-based diving company, began arriving Thursday at the Washington Baum boat ramp adjacent to the bridge.

Plans are for divers to begin working Tuesday on the underwater line, according to the Dominion employee who spoke to the Voice on the condition of anonymity.

Russ Lay and Sam Walker contributed to this story.

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