A state of emergency is in effect in one North Carolina county after two substations were ambushed and riddled with bullets, plunging thousands of homes into darkness, officials said Sunday.
No one knows who launched Saturday’s attack on equipment – which left over 40,000 people in the dark – but the Moore County incident is being investigated as a premeditated and criminal act, authorities said.
“No group has stood up to acknowledge or accept that it was them,” Moore County Sheriff Ronnie Fields said during a news conference, adding the FBI is working with state investigators to find who is responsible.
Fields said someone “opened fire on the substation, same with the other one,” though no motive for the crime has yet been determined.
The lights went out around 7 p.m. on Saturday.
He called the attack “targeted” and said law enforcement would keep the substations and store safe overnight.
“We faced something last night here in Moore County that we’ve never faced before,” Fields said. “But I promise you, we’ll get through this.”
According to poweroutage.us, around 37,000 customers in the county were still without power as of Sunday evening.
The blackout has forced a curfew in the area, lasting from 9pm Sunday to 5am Monday.
This curfew could last into the week while the emergency decree is in place.
All district schools were also closed on Monday.
“An attack like this on critical infrastructure is a serious, premeditated crime, and I expect state and federal agencies to conduct a thorough investigation and bring those responsible to justice,” said North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper posted on Twitter.
A local sports complex would serve as a shelter Sunday night as freezing temperatures are expected as Duke Energy spokesman Jeff Brooks said customers could be without power for days.
Workers would need to replace several pieces of damaged equipment, he said.
“We’re looking at a fairly sophisticated repair involving some fairly large equipment and want the townspeople to be prepared that this will be a multi-day restoration for most customers, potentially lasting through Thursday,” Brooks told press Conference.
With postal wires
https://nypost.com/2022/12/04/thousands-in-dark-after-gunfire-directed-at-nc-substations/ Over 25 miles in the dark after shots were aimed at North Carolina substations