CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - An estimated 10,000 Outer Banks tourists evacuated two islands in North Carolina because of a power outage Friday. Many vacationers from northeast Ohio got stuck in the mess, as the governor declared a state of emergency.
There's no word yet on when the power will be back on.
North Carolina's Outer Banks are a favorite destination for family summer vacations for many people from Ohio. But its southern portion is now clear of tourists after a massive power outage hit Hatteras and Ocracoke islands.
A mandatory evacuation sent thousands of vacationers back home early.
The mandatory evacuation will continue into Saturday. Officials say compliance is mandatory and tourists should have left Friday night if possible. Anyone who does not leave could face misdemeanor charges.
Cleveland 19 caught up with 16-year-old Molly Bregar on Skype as she drove back home to Akron on Friday. She says her family had to leave a day early due to the power outage. Luckily, they're not missing out on much of their vacation.
But some people are.
"We got in last Saturday, and our plan was to stay until tomorrow but we had to leave early because it was just way too hot, our food was going bad," Bregar said.
Her family's vacation in the town of Waves wasn't ruined, but it was an uncomfortable past 24 hours.
"The air obviously wasn't working, and it was around 80 upstairs," she said.
The Bregar family rented a house down there and they don't expect a refund for that missed day.
Cleveland 19 called some rental companies in the Outer Banks, and the ones we spoke to are not offering refunds since this wasn't weather related.
Officials say a construction company working on a bridge hit an underground transmission cable. It could take days or even weeks to fix the power, so for now only residents are allowed on the islands. So that means families on their way this weekend to start their week long vacations could be out of luck and money.
If you're heading there anytime soon, the Outer Banks Visitors Bureau recommends checking in with your rental company first.