Workers replacing a pipe running under U.S. 158 at the Nags Head Town Hall accidentally damaged a fiber optic cable that cut off most communications on Hatteras Island for more than seven hours on Tuesday.
The cable maintained by Brightspeed, formerly known as Centurylink, provides high speed data service that supplies internet and video services and also feeds mobile device tower sites south of Oregon Inlet. It was damaged around midday on Tuesday.
It appears the outage was limited to just certain providers, however, including Spectrum/Charter. Brightspeed residential services were reportedly not impacted.
The damage also impacted 911 services. Some residents on the island said they were able to get limited cell service between Avon and Buxton at times.
Data services were partially restored around 8 p.m., with full service back sometime after midnight.
The pipe replacement is part of the South Croatan Highway resurfacing project that required closing of the Bypass in both directions on Monday and part of Tuesday.
Southbound lanes were reopened to traffic around 3 p.m. Tuesday, and the northbound lanes are expected to reopen before the end of the week.
According to multiple sources, there were no medical emergencies on Hatteras Island during the seven-hour outage.
However, if a future outage occurs, the public is advised to seek help at their local volunteer fire department or EMS Station, where personnel can use radio communications to alert proper agencies.