After North Carolina Shootings, Power Could Be Out for Days

No motive has yet been determined
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 4, 2022 1:45 PM CST
Updated Dec 5, 2022 1:53 AM CST
Vandalism at 'Multiple Sites' Caused Power Outage: Sheriff
The gate to the Duke Energy West End substation in Moore County, North Carolina, is on the ground on Sunday.   (John Nagy/The Pilot via AP)
UPDATE Dec 5, 2022 1:53 AM CST

The Moore County sheriff confirmed Sunday that it was gunfire that damaged two North Carolina power substations Saturday, causing damage that could take days to repair. That means tens of thousands of residents could be without power for days, the AP reports. County schools are closed Monday, and a state of emergency and curfew have been declared. "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,” Gov. Roy Cooper says. Authorities say the shootings were "targeted," but that no motive has been determined.

Dec 4, 2022 1:45 PM CST

The cause of a power outage affecting 40,000 customers in North Carolina over the weekend does not appear to be accidental, officials said. Residents of Moore County began reporting they'd lost power around 7pm Saturday, CBS News reports. The blackout "is being investigated as a criminal occurrence," according to a statement posted online by the Moore County Sheriff's Office. "As utility companies began responding to the different substations, evidence was discovered that indicated that intentional vandalism had occurred at multiple sites," the statement said, adding that security at the substations has been increased.

Gov. Roy Cooper tweeted Sunday that state law enforcement agencies will aid the investigation, per CNN. Two utilities were affected, but most of the households are Duke Energy customers. A spokesman said Duke was dealing with "multiple equipment failures." The fire chief of the town of Southern Pines said Duke Energy told him gunfire had damaged two substations, per the AP, but the utility didn't immediately confirm that. Wastewater pumps were knocked out, as were stoplights, and officials in some areas asked residents to stay off the roads after accidents occurred. Moore County asked people to keep water and sewer usage to a minimum during the outage. (Read more power outage stories.)

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