Aug. 4 (UPI) -- Power has been restored to two of North Carolina's barrier islands after electrical transmission lines were accidentally cut earlier this week -- triggering a lengthy blackout and evacuations.
Hatteras and Ocracoke Islands, island that form the state's Outer Banks, lost power on July 27 when two of three underground cables were damaged by a construction crew building a bridge, the Cape Hatteras Electric Cooperative said.
The crew inadvertently drove a steel casing into a transmission line.
For health and safety reasons, a mandatory evacuation was ordered by Dare and Hyde counties -- at the height of the islands' tourist season -- the day after the accident. More than 2,000 people and 893 vehicles were taken off Ocracoke Island by ferry.
The evacuation order was scheduled to be lifted early Friday afternoon, local officials said. Communities on the islands had to use generator power all week.
Utility officials had estimated Monday the blackout could last for two weeks.
North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said that an overhead transmission line was installed to bring electricity from the mainland to the islands. He also thanked workers for their "tireless work to get power restored quickly and safely."