Cape Lookout Moonrise Lighthouse climb
The Cape Lookout Lighthouse, built in 1859, has been dark on North Carolina’s Outer Banks for weeks after being struck by lightning.
Repairs were being handled by United States Coast Guard, according to the National Park Service, which controls the historic site as part of Cape Lookout National Seashore.
“The United States Coast Guard reported to us that after inspecting the light, it was discovered that it was hit by lightning which fried a very unique capacitor,” Karen Duggan of Cape Lookout National Seashore told the Charlotte Observer Wednesday.
In an update issued Thursday, June, 27, Duggan said the Coast Guard “was just out at the lighthouse installing the new part” and the light was expected to return that evening.
It took three weeks for the needed part to arrive, she added.
The popular lighthouse -- topped with a lightning rod -- remained structurally sound after the lightning strike. It has a history of attracting lightning, including a bolt that famously struck the tower in April 1879, the National Park Service says.
Among the oddities of the lighthouse is that its “glow or loom can be seen when the light is actually below the horizon,” the park service says. “In some atmospheric conditions refraction causes the light to follow the earth’s curvature, too.”
The lighthouse was transferred from the Coast Guard to the park system in 2003 and is open to tourists for climbing Wednesday through Sunday.