The Latest: Officials hope to have power restored Monday

Markets Associated Press

The Latest on a power outage to two Outer Banks islands (all times local):

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9:15 p.m.

Officials say they now hope to restore power fully to North Carolina's Outer Banks by Monday.

Cape Hatteras Electric Cooperative said Tuesday that crews have finished putting up poles and are starting the process of connecting the current underground line to the new overhead poles.

The utility said in a news release that the process must be done carefully and tested fully.

Officials said in a news release that they hope to have all power restored on Hatteras and Ocracoke islands sometime between Saturday and Monday.

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A crew from PCL Construction building a new bridge over the Oregon Inlet cut an underground power cable Thursday. Generators can only produce so much power, leaving officials to order tourists to stay away during the busy summer season.

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11:40 a.m.

Lawsuits are pending against a construction company blamed for a power outage on North Carolina's Outer Banks, forcing visitors off the beaches and leaving tourist-dependent businesses without income.

At least three lawsuits filed this week seek compensation from PCL Construction. Gov. Roy Cooper said Tuesday he believes the company responsible should pay for damages once all the facts are known.

Lawsuits filed in state and federal courts say the company building the long-needed replacement bridge over Oregon Inlet was negligent and should pay for the financial losses suffered by businesses at the peak of vacation season.

About 50,000 tourists were forced to leave Ocracoke and Hatteras islands after last Thursday's outage and repairs are continuing.

The company didn't respond to messages seeking its response to the lawsuits.