OUTER BANKS, NC – Thousands of people remain without power on the Outer Banks Friday and officials are unsure when it will be restored.
Power went out when construction workers accidentally cut a transmission line on the Bonner Bridge.
Visitors were told to evacuate Ocracoke Island by noon Friday while teams work to restore power.
The power outage is ruining vacations for thousands of people like Kayleigh Connell from Greensboro.
"Little things that we take for granted, we took bikes out and we were riding up and down the street trying to find cups of coffee. We were like ‘Does anybody have coffee? Does anybody have generators?' Everything is out,” said Connell. “All the businesses are dark."
Connell is vacationing with her family this week on Hatteras Island.
She shot video of the darkness Thursday night – showing beach homes only as silhouettes.
“It was the creepiest thing I have ever seen in my life,” said Connell. “I kept saying it was like a zombie apocalypse.”
Hatteras Island has not been evacuated.
Connell says they're going to try to stick it out through the rest of their vacation unless they're told to leave.
Connell says they've been using glow sticks and flashlights and sleeping with the doors and windows open – trying to make light of a dark situation.
"Just take advantage of the time you have together with your family,” said Connell. “You kind of get to spend it unplugged. We've had to charge our phones in the car so it has been weird to have to put the phone down and actually speak to each other face-to-face. But it's been really good."
However, not every family has been so lucky.
An estimated 10,000 visitors to Ocracoke Island are having to cut their vacations short or completely cancel them due to the evacuation.
So 2 Wants to Know will they be able to get their money back?
Dawn Gray with Four Moons Travel in Jamestown says it all comes down to having travel insurance.
“Having travel insurance is just like having a little safety net,” said Gray. “We see things every day that you would never think could happen to somebody on a vacation. It's better to be protected than to wing it."
Several hotels on Ocracoke Island told WFMY News 2 that they would be refunding their visitors who can no longer stay there.
However, Gray says many hotels have strict no-refund policies.
Gov. Roy Cooper declared a state of emergency for the islands to utilize more resources to respond to the power outage.
Officials say it could day several days or weeks for the power to be restored.
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