WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - The Town of Oak Island is in the middle of its recovery process after Hurricane Isaias hit the town last Tuesday. Now, as relief efforts continue and power is restored to many of the island homes that were left in the dark, the town is issuing a directive for homeowners when it comes to power restorations.
“Electrical service has been restored in some of the evacuated areas, but not to all homes or structures. Homes or structures that were found to be unsafe by the Town of Oak Island Inspections’ Department are being disconnected and tagged by BEMC until repairs can be made, inspected and approved for electrical service,” according to a press release from the town.
The town has set out a set of orders that residents must follow in order to have power restored if it has been shut off at their property --- this includes getting a licensed electrician out to the properties in order to ensure the safety of it.
The updated protocol requires the following from homeowners:
- A licensed electrician (electrician) must evaluate, and certify to the Town of Oak Island, that all electrical equipment and electrical outlets that were flooded or damaged due to the storm have been disconnected from the house panel.
- Once Oak Island’s Inspection Department receives certification from the electrician, an inspection by the Town of Oak Island will be scheduled and if approved, electrical service will be restored.
- A NO FEE electrical permit will be required for repairs to the electrical equipment or electrical outlets that have been disconnected.
- When the electrician has completed the repair work, an inspection with Oak Island’s inspection department must be completed before this area can be energized.
- If an electrician finds that electrical work is needed prior to restoring power, a NO FEE permit from the Town of Oak Island’s Inspection Department must be obtained prior to any electrical work being done.
- When the electrician has completed the repair work, an inspection with Oak Island’s inspection department must be scheduled and if approved, electrical service will be restored.
- ELECTRICAL PERMITS can be issued on site or applications may be submitted via email, fax or in person to the Development Services Department. See attached permit application.
- Email applications to: Permits@ci.oak-island.nc or firstname.lastname@example.org o Fax applications to: (910) 278-1811
These requirements are not just the town being overly cautious, previously flooded homes pose a significant threat to electrical systems.
“When a structure is flooded to where the electrical system is jeopardized, the electrical system must be evaluated to ensure the integrity of the electrical equipment is not damaged or contaminated by deteriorating agents. If an inspector encounters a structure where the electrical service (metering equipment, main disconnect, etc.) is or has been submerged in storm water, the first step is to call the power company to ensure the power is removed in accordance with section 10.7.2 of the State Electrical Code. If parts of the electrical system are, or have been, submerged in water, those circuits in question should be de-energized until the circuits can be evaluated and deemed safe by the electrical inspector. When an inspector encounters a structure where any part the electrical system can be legitimately assumed as recently submerged in storm water that will create the concern that the electrical system will quickly corrode and become hazardous, the electrical system must be evaluated for damage,” according to the North Carolina Department of Insurance.