Ocracoke Island Power Outage

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by AA5AZ, Jul 31, 2017.

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  1. AA5AZ

    AA5AZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I should clarify, I'm skeptical of the modern 2017 usage of ham radio in most, not all, disasters. Our county received funding for portable repeaters for the EMT/Sheriff's Department. I'm not saying we're useless, but since 911 and all the hurricanes we've had, they have considerably wised up.
     
  2. KP4SX

    KP4SX Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    There's not many hams out there but maybe one or two have backup power and are active and able to assist with messages.
     
  3. WR2E

    WR2E Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yep. Sorry 'bout dat. I know what "I" would have sounded like! "RUN AWAY! RUN AWAY!" :eek:
     
    N2EY likes this.
  4. WA3VJB

    WA3VJB Ham Member QRZ Page

    We've vacationed there the past 10+ years and this happened just two weeks after we came back from this summer's trip. In fact, the same construction crew at that bridge site knocked the main breaker off while we were there, interrupting power for about an hour. For a pile driver operator, and management, to NOT be cognizant of underground/underwater transmission lines is amazing. From people I've talked with, one reason for the prolonged outage is that the damage & repair crews can't clear the hole where they've been digging down, at the point of impact. They need time to build a containment to keep out the water and sand that keeps filling up the excavation right there at the water table.

    The image below is one that I took on the drive south. It is an enormous project, dwarfing the existing roadway and bridge.

    As to the Amateur Radio presence. There is very little activity on VHF/UHF FM at Ocracoke. There is a fairly comprehensive crossband repeater network based on the mainland side of Pamlico Sound that would be unaffected by this outage, but probably very little need for emergency communications by hobbyists. Only a handful of regulars have ever been heard on the system, and only occasionally will a vacationer like myself show up and initiate a QSO. The ferryboat system uses marine VHF at both the south terminal, and 12 miles to the north at the terminal used for transit to Hatteras. The Coast Guard at Ocracoke has a generator at its facility and can easily hit the main Coast Guard station at Hatteras on VHF marine simplex.

    There's not much else to coordinate, and the ferryboats continue to carry delivery trucks to keep the locals provisioned up.

    The single cellphone tower at the Southeast end of Ocracoke has a substantial generator and a large fuel tank, and since this is a power outage with no storm-related infrastructure damage as in a hurricane, I expect that the island's residents have communications. Hyde County police have two officers on the island, at least one of whom lives there. The volunteer fire department has a nearly-new firehouse, and Ocracoke Airport on the north side of the village has a helipad.

     

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    N2EY likes this.
  5. AA5AZ

    AA5AZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I do emergency work for AT&T. It's very infrequent; only in the lead up to and during hurricanes, tornado aftermath, ice storms and such. Believe it or not, ice storms can be just as costly in damage as hurricanes, but costly in different ways - but money is money, no matter who's spending it.

    What I do for them is I have a 1996 F-250 diesel pickup truck with a 500-gallon tank on the back. We fuel up the generators and bring generators to sites without on-site gens. I thought just about all gen sites would have an on-site gen, but that is very much false. It's only about 10-15% of the sites that have generators. It's long hours, dangerous and hard work, but it pays very well.
     
  6. N4AAB

    N4AAB XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    One place I worked years ago had a power cable cut to our building. Who cut it ? The people you call to make sure there is no power cable, or other buried utilities, where you want to dig. They claimed the plans they had were off by 15 feet. But they wouldn't show anyone outside their group their printed plans.
     
  7. KK4KFG

    KK4KFG Ham Member QRZ Page

    The folks left on Ocracoke are the islanders. They are fine and can live without power for 2 weeks.

    The problem is the loss of revenue that will impact all of them! Going to be a long Winter and Spring on the island this year.
     
  8. W3WN

    W3WN Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Not to worry. Their lawyers will get rich, settling all the lawsuits. They might get a few bucks, too.
     
  9. KP4SX

    KP4SX Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I caught a locator guy snooping around our catv headend building which has cable and fiber in the ground all over the place. His instructions indicated one particular small telco cable only. He explained what was going on and the actual work really didn't come onto our property but that's what popped up on their locate list and it was what he was required to paint and flag. The actual work was out on the main road 200 ft away.
     
  10. N0TZU

    N0TZU Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    My neighbor called for a locate last year. Guy comes out and says there's nothing to locate because the meter and phone box is right near the pole. Of course this ignores the 200 foot underground run to the house.

    My neighbor had to argue with him to get it marked without a "private" locate fee. Must have been a new guy, because the feeds are like that around here, and I've never had an issue with locates nor anyone else I know.
     

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