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Hatteras Island power supply much more stable now

Judy Banks remembers.

So does Richard Marlin, who wrote, “remember the days? ONE,…. TWO,…. THREE and we’re OUT!” Marlin was counting blinks.

Writes Hatteras village resident Judy Banks on her Facebook page: “15-20 years ago, if the lights blinked once: prepare. If the lights blinked twice: prepare for an outage. If the lights blinked again, don’t expect them to come back on; prepare for two to three hour outage.

“We got 5 or 6 blinks from this one,” said Banks about the Thursday outage. “We had time to get candles lit and flashlights prepared. If this is CHEMC problem, we will be up and running soon….”

Banks’ praise for the Cape Hatteras Electric Cooperative crews was repeated from other islanders. Thursday night, Nov. 12, was not weather nice. The linemen went anyway.

Power stability came to the island in 1995, some 25 years ago.

On interim manager Jim Sherfey’s first day on the job, Jan. 15, 1995, he woke up before daylight and discovered Buxton was without power. Sherfey recalled he was told “that was the way it was on Hatteras Island.”

Service reliability was a critical concern of the cooperative’s Board of Directors in 1995 and for Sherfey during his managerial tenure. During his first year on the job, Sherfey oversaw the completion of the cooperative’s new 115 Kv transmission line from Oregon Inlet to Buxton, a $10.5 million job.

The new transmission lines stabilized the island’s system, which was described as a rubber band stretched to its capacity.

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