Much of Elizabeth City was in the dark Thursday evening after the city lost its main power feed from Dominion Power.
City Manager Rich Olson said Dominion Power crews were assessing the problem to determine its cause.
He said the outage in Elizabeth City was likely to last at least an hour.
City police were patrolling the downtown and other areas blanketed in darkness and the fire department was responding to numerous fire alarm calls.
The city doesn't buy electricity from Dominion but its power is delivered across Dominion's power lines.