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Cape Hatteras Lighthouse Remains In The Dark A Month After Storms

Cape Hatteras
Flickr, Creative Commons,
The Lighthouse at the Cape Hatteras National Seashore went dark in January 2018 after a series of winter storms.

It's been about a month since the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse fell dark. The U.S. Coast Guard maintains the mechanical structure within the 200 year-old building.

Petty Officer Third Class Nate Cox says some of those antique mechanisms in the 1802 building failed after a series of winter storms.

“It seems to be that the parts are original to that lighthouse,” Cox said. “And obviously with a lighthouse that iconic and specific, the parts are very hard to come by.”

The Coast Guard commissioned a firm in Cincinnati to create new parts. Cox also said they're relying on VHF marine radio to warn boaters.

“What we're doing is twice a day we're putting out a morning and night broadcast notice to mariners on channel 22,” Cox said. “It's just simply a safety message that, 'The lighthouse is out. Don't be nervous but be aware.' And that seems to be working at this time.”

Cox says it could be another month before the new parts arrive and can be installed.

“As soon as we get those parts, we'll quickly get them up as fast as we can and get it up and running for the community,” Cox said.

Rebecca Martinez produces podcasts at WUNC. She’s been at the station since 2013, when she produced Morning Edition and reported for newscasts and radio features. Rebecca also serves on WUNC’s Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accountability (IDEA) Committee.
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