North Carolina county declares state of emergency after “deliberate” attack causes widespread power outage


Moore County, North Carolina, has declared a state of emergency because of a power outage after an “intentional” attack during the weekend when gunfire damaged two substations. The attack left about 45,000 people in North Carolina without power.

Under the state of emergency, there is a nightly curfew from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m., and county residents are encouraged to conserve fuel.

Jeff Brooks, a spokesman for Duke Energy, said Monday the company has supplied power to about 7,000 customers. About 38,000 remain without power, and Brooks said full recovery likely won’t happen until Wednesday or Thursday. In a press release shared earlier today, Duke Energy general manager Jason Hollifield said that “the damage in some areas is beyond repair.”

“That leaves us with no choice but to replace major appliances — which is not an easy or quick task,” Hollifield said.

The outage also caused sewage pumps in the area to malfunction and schools in the province to close. Traffic lights are also off. Emergency shelters are open to the public.

In Carthage, residents Steve and Meg Wilkins’ unheated home has dropped to 55 degrees.

“This is not what I wanted to do today or last night or the night before,” said Steve Wilkins. “Threading electrical cords. Eating cold ham.”

Power outages were first reported to police on Saturday, Dec. 3, shortly after 7 p.m., according to Moore County Sheriff Ronnie Fields. When utilities responded to the substations, “evidence was found that indicated deliberate vandalism had occurred at multiple locations,” Fields said Sunday.

Power plant in Moore County goes out
One of Moore County’s powerhouses.

The Pilot newspaper, Southern Pines

At a press conference held Sunday afternoon, Fields said the damage was caused by gunfire. Fields said the scene was the same in both locations and called the attacks “targeted” and carried out by a person or persons who “knew exactly what they were doing”.

There is no motive for the attack, which is being investigated as a criminal act. At his press conference on Sunday, Fields could not say whether the incident reached the level of domestic terrorism.

Homeland Security Minister Alejandro Mayorkas spoke about the situation on Monday afternoon and said the attack “appears to have been deliberate”.

“We are working with energy companies in local communities to address the situation impacting power reaching homes in targeted neighborhoods,” said Mayorkas. “The question is, is it an act of felony or otherwise? Early evidence suggests it was intentional. And the investigation is ongoing.”

The Federal Bureau of Investigation office in Charlotte, North Carolina is also investigating the attack. On Sunday, the FBI office told CBS News it was “investigating the willful damage to power facilities in the area,” but declined to comment further because the investigation was ongoing.

Signage at one of the power stations.

The Pilot newspaper, Southern Pines

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper called the attack a “criminal act” at a news conference Monday afternoon.

“This was a deliberate attack that caused significant harm to people,” Cooper said.

In January, a Department of Homeland Security bulletin obtained by CBS News warned that domestic violent extremists have developed “credible, specific plans to attack power infrastructure since at least 2020, identifying the power grid as a particularly attractive target.” . But DHS has not issued any statement linking the current situation in Moore County to extremism.

The US has about 55,000 substations. Earlier this year “60 minutesreported on how vulnerable they often are.

“There are only a few substations that you have to shut down in the entire United States to shut down the entire grid,” Jon Wellinghoff, former chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, told “60 Minutes” correspondent BIll Whitaker.

Mark Strassmann and Nicole Sganga of CBS News contributed to the reporting.

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voice
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Share post:


More like this