Home News Gunfire knocks out power for 45,000 in targeted substation attack

Gunfire knocks out power for 45,000 in targeted substation attack

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Theresa Braine

New York Daily News

Tens of thousands of people in a North Carolina county are without power after someone shot out two substations in what authorities on Sunday deemed a criminal act.

It could take days to restore power to about 45,000 people in Moore County — nearly half of its 100,000 residents — in the wake of the outages that began around 7 p.m. Saturday, authorities said.

County officials declared a state of emergency, imposed a curfew from 9 p.m. Sunday to 5 a.m. Monday and closed schools for Monday.

Why someone pulled up and opened fire on two substations is a mystery, Moore County Sheriff Ronnie Fields said Sunday.

“No group has stepped up to acknowledge or accept that they’re the ones that done it,” Fields said. “We’re looking at all avenues.”

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is also working the case, Fields said, adding that security was being beefed up at the substations and at businesses.

“It was targeted,” he said. “It wasn’t random.”

Gov. Roy Cooper decried the violence of the incident.

“An attack like this on critical infrastructure is a serious, intentional crime, and I expect state and federal authorities to thoroughly investigate and bring those responsible to justice,” he tweeted Sunday.

Power company Duke Energy said crews were working 24-hour shifts to repair the damage.

“We are looking at a pretty sophisticated repair with some fairly large equipment, and so we do want citizens of the town to be prepared that this will be a multi-day restoration for most customers, extending potentially as long as Thursday,” Duke spokesman Jeff Brooks said at the news conference.

The repair process is extensive and complex, the company said, with “several large and vital pieces of equipment” damaged. That requires equipment to be tested before it’s put back online.

“Duke Energy is pursuing multiple repair paths to restore as many customers as possible, as quickly and safely as possible,” said Jason Hollifield, Duke’s general manager of emergency preparedness, in a statement.

“This is a significant local outage that is affecting nearly all customers in Moore County. While some customers will be restored sooner, most customers should be prepared for an extended outage that could last until Thursday.”

With News Wire Services

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