Dominion below 65 outages in all area counties; schools to reopen Monday


From staff, wire reports

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Dominion Energy worked throughout Sunday to restore power to its northeastern North Carolina customers who lost it in Hurricane Dorian, and by late afternoon was below 100 outages in all area counties.

By early evening, those numbers had fallen to below 65 in all counties.

According to Dominion’s outage map, the company was still reporting 62 outages in the Tyner area, in northern Chowan County, as of 8:30 p.m. Sunday. The second-largest number was 32, in Currituck County. Pasquotank had 15 in the Weeksville area and Dare was reporting 14. There were no remaining outages in Camden, according to the map.

The region’s two other electricity providers — the city of Elizabeth City and Albemarle Electric Membership Corp. — reported being able to restore power to all customers on Saturday.

Meanwhile, all school districts in the region except the Perquimans County Schools announced their operation plans for Monday. The districts said they plan to operate on a regular schedule after being closed on Thursday and Friday.

Officials in the Elizabeth City-Pasquotank Public Schools asked students and parents to be patient Monday morning, given that a few roads still hold standing water and will require buses to be rerouted.

At the time Currituck school officials announced schools would be open today, there were still roughly 500 households in the county without power. With that in mind, school officials said on the district’s Facebook page that if a student was unable to attend school today because of Dorian’s impacts, parents should state that in a note and have their child bring it to school when they’re able to return.

Elizabeth City State University announced that it will resume classes on Monday at 8 a.m. Students were allowed back into residence halls on Sunday.

College of The Albemarle announced that all of its campuses except the Dare County Campus in Manteo also would reopen to students on Monday.

The widespread power outages and other storm-related conditions in Currituck on Saturday spurred the county Department of Social Services to set up meal stations in both Jarvisburg and Corolla. According to county spokesman Randall Edwards, the county DSS passed out 280 MREs (meals ready to eat) in Jarvisburg and another 171 in Corolla. In addition, 280 snacks and seven cases of water were distributed in Jarvisburg, and 118 snacks and 14 cases of water were distributed in Corolla.

Currituck officials also began allowing more re-entry to the county’s storm-affected Outer Banks communities on Sunday.

The county initially allowed access on Saturday to Corolla and Carova only to those with either a Priority 1 critical needs pass or a Priority 2 business pass. That included emergency responders and business operators such as vacation rental businesses, grocery stores and service industries, according to county spokesman Randall Edwards. Roughly four hours later, the county began allowing permanent residents back into the Outer Banks communities.

On Sunday, Currituck began allowing allowing non-resident property owners access to Corolla and Corova and starting at 8 a.m. on Monday, planned to allow visitors access to those communities.

County officials cited concerns about power outages and the area’s water utility infrastructure as reasons for the phased re-entry.

Meanwhile in hard-hit Ocracoke, re-entry was limited on Sunday to emergency responders and other authorized personnel, including supply crews.

After devastating the Bahamas, Dorian made landfall Friday morning over the Outer Banks, and it swamped Ocracoke with floodwaters. Residents say the damage is the worst anyone alive has seen.

Donnie Shumate, spokesman for Hyde County, which includes Ocracoke, said Sunday that crews are continuing to survey “catastrophic” damage. There’s still no power.

Shumate says a staging area has been set up where residents can access things like food, water and cleaning supplies. The Salvation Army was serving lunch and dinner at a community center.

In another storm-related development, the Citadel Elizabeth City skilled nursing facility reopened for residents on Saturday following an evacuation on Thursday, according to Elizabeth City City Manager Rich Olson.

About 70 residents of the Citadel Elizabeth City at 901 Halstead Boulevard were evacuated to five other skilled nursing facilities after local officials expressed concerns about possible flooding from Dorian affecting the nursing home’s operations.

A person who answered the phone at the Citadel Elizabeth City on Sunday confirmed the skilled nursing center had reopened but deferred other questions to the facility’s administrator who returns on Monday.