Digest>Archives> Mar/Apr 2018

Cape Hatteras Lighthouse Goes Dark


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Successive January storm damage caused the beacon atop North America’s tallest lighthouse to be turned off.

Although the light in the lantern itself worked, the beacon atop the 193-foot tall lighthouse was unable to rotate, so specially fabricated parts had to be ordered from a company in Cincinnati, Ohio. Part of the delay was actually caused by government paperwork with an additional 20 days minimum after that for the parts to be made before they could be flown to North Carolina to be installed.

Petty Officer Third Class Nate Cox, public Relations Specialist for District 5 of the Coast Guard said, “They are not stock parts. From what we can tell, they are original parts to the lighthouse, and the Coast Guard had to locate a manufacturer, go through the description process of what the part entails, and then custom make the parts to fit a very specific mechanism.”

With the exception of when the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse was turned off from March 1, 1999 to November 13, 1999, when it was moved 2,900 feet inland, this will be the second longest time the lighthouse has been dark since it was first lighted in 1870.

Cape Hatteras Lighthouse is located at the north end of Cape Hatteras Point in the Outer Banks of North Carolina near the community of Buxton.

This story appeared in the Mar/Apr 2018 edition of Lighthouse Digest Magazine. The print edition contains more stories than our internet edition, and each story generally contains more photographs - often many more - in the print edition. For subscription information about the print edition, click here.

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