After two substations in Moore County, North Carolina was destroyed by gunshots on Saturday night, over 40,000 people were left without electricity on Sunday afternoon.
In a Facebook post on Saturday, Moore County Sheriff Ronnie Fields noted that various areas in the county started to lose power shortly after 7 o’clock that evening.
According to Fields, Duke Energy, which manages the county’s electricity infrastructure, responded to at least two distinct substations where there was evidence of deliberate vandalism.
During a Facebook Live press conference on Sunday afternoon, Fields stated, “We faced something last night here in Moore County we have never encountered before.”
More information was provided by the sheriff, who stated that multiple shootings at two substations caused substantial damage, which largely affected the central and northern parts of the county with power outages.
PowerOutage.us reported that 40,679 consumers were without power as of Sunday afternoon.
A curfew will be in place from Sunday night at 9 p.m. until Monday morning at 5 a.m. due to the power outage.
The FBI, State Bureau of Investigations, and local law enforcement organizations are actively investigating the vandalism at the substations.
During the news conference, the Moore County Directory of Public Safety announced that the Moore County Sportsplex would become a refuge for people without electricity starting at 4 p.m. on Sunday.
The facility can house 225–250 residents, and it will be operational until the county decides it is no longer necessary.
According to Duke Energy’s Jeff Brooks, a complete power restoration might not happen until Thursday.
He stated that, in contrast to a storm, where power might be redirected, the shooting had damaged equipment at the substations that needed to be replaced or repaired.
According to Brooks, the power company is considering a variety of restoration options, but getting the power back on for customers is its first priority.
Schools will be closed on Monday due to the power loss, according to Moore County Schools Superintendent Tim Locklair, who also stated that the issue will be assessed on a day-by-day basis.
Folks, this was a horrific act, stated State Senator Tom McInnis, who also promised that the offender will be held accountable.