The effect of a major North Carolina power outage could be seen from space. The blackout was caused after a construction crew damaged transmission cables and knocked out power to Ocracoke and Hatteras islands on the Outer Banks, the effect on the ground was evident.
The power outage was caused when crews from PCL Construction building a new bridge over the Oregon Inlet severed the underground line Thursday. Generators have been brought in but can't produce enough electricity to support the estimated 50,000 visitors during a typical summer week.
The Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) on the Suomi NPP satellite captured nighttime images of Hatteras and Ocracoke islands. The noticeable effect evidently seen from space in images taken by NASA before and after the outage was just outstanding, the night lights on the islands can be seen working one night and then out a few days later. The first photo was taken on July 27, before the outage, and the second was taken on July 30, just after the power went out.
Reports from NASA revealed that a similar scene unfolded after Hurricane Matthew scraped its way up the East Coast in October. Cape Hatteras Electric Cooperative on Wednesday estimated it would take three to five days to restore full power to the islands.
After power goes out over a large area, it can often be seen from space. This was evidently seen by satellite images released this week by NASA. That was the case with the recent power outage along North Carolina's Outer Banks. The images show a distinct darkness especially around Ocracoke and Hatteras.
However, this power outage was not the result of a storm though. Governor Roy Cooper stated this week a complete repair of power could take at least one to two weeks. When a power outage spans a large area, there is the chance it can be seen from space. The outage pictured here shows the darkness that fell across parts of North Carolina’s Outer Banks in late July 2017.