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OUTER BANKS, N.C. -- Approximately 7,700 Cape Hatteras Electric Cooperative customers are without power on the Outer Banks and authorities are advising residents and tourists the outage could last weeks.

The power outage is impacting Hatteras and Ocracoke Islands.

An estimated 10,000 tourists have been asked to leave portions of the Outer Banks by Friday at noon, according to multiple reports.

The evacuation order is only in effect for Ocracoke as of right now.

The company says they have tracked the issue to a transmission cable attached to the Bonner Bridge. Crews are currently evaluating the problem and looking at what steps to take.

“CHEC is working to assess the extent of the damage and plan for the repair. Assuming that the cooperative has the materials on hand, repairs could take several days to complete. If materials are not available locally, repairs could take weeks,” the electric company wrote on Facebook.

CHEC is providing temporary power to Buxton, Frisco and part of Hatteras Village via the diesel generating plant.

“The cooperative is bringing in additional portable generators to supplement the diesel plant. These generators will begin to arrive tonight," said the company.

In the meantime, customers in Dare County are asked to turn their AC off and minimize other electrical use so backup diesel generators can handle the load.

"The success of operating the island on generator power depends entirely on residents and visitors observing the strictest conservation habits possible. We ask that you immediately shut off all non-essential breakers," the county said in a press release. "Please limit electric use to refrigeration and fans when you do receive power. While you may be tempted to do so, we ask that you not use air conditioning systems when generator power is established."

The Dare County Water Department has also issued a water conservation alert for Hatteras Island customers. Residents and visitors are asked to conserve as much water as possible because water production capacity is diminished due to the outage. There are no concerns about the water quality, however. It is safe to drink.