Moore County, North Carolina, has declared a state of emergency as power outages continueOver the weekend two substations were damaged by gunfire. The attack blacked out nearly 45,000 people in North Carolina.
Under the state of emergency, a nightly stay-at-home order is in place from 9:00 pm to 5:00 am and county residents are encouraged to conserve fuel.
Duke Energy spokesman Jeff Brooks said Monday that the company has powered about 7,000 customers. About 38,000 people remain without power, and Brooks said full restoration is not likely until Wednesday or Thursday. In a press release shared earlier in the day, Duke Energy general manager Jason Holyfield said, “In some areas the damage cannot be repaired.”
The power outage also caused the area’s drainage pumps to fail and schools in the county to close. The traffic lights are also off. The emergency shelter has been opened to the public.
In Carthage, residents Steve and Meg Wilkins’ unheated home dropped to 55 degrees.
“This is not what I wanted to do today, last night, or the night before,” said Steve Wilkins. “Tie up the power cord. Eat the ham.”
The power outage was first reported to police shortly after 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3, according to Moore County Sheriff Ronnie Fields. When the utility company responded to the substation, “evidence was found indicating that deliberate vandalism had occurred at multiple sites,” Fields said Sunday.
At a press conference on Sunday afternoon, Fields said the damage was caused by gunfire. It said it was done by someone who “knew exactly what they were doing.”
The motive for the attack has not been disclosed and is being investigated as a criminal act. At a press conference on Sunday, Fields was unable to say whether the incident reached the level of domestic terrorism.
On Monday afternoon, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorcas said the attack “appears to have been deliberate.”
“We are working with community energy companies to address situations that affect the power reaching homes in the affected areas,” said Mayorkas. , or not.Early evidence suggests it was deliberate, and an investigation is ongoing.”
The Federal Bureau of Investigation in Charlotte, North Carolina is also investigating the attack. The FBI’s office told CBS News on Sunday that he was “investigating willful damage to power facilities” in the area, but declined to comment further as the investigation is ongoing.
On Monday afternoon, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper called the attack a “criminal act” at a press conference.
“This was a deliberate attack and caused serious harm to people,” Cooper said.
In January, a Department of Homeland Security bulletin obtained by CBS News said domestic violent extremists had “made credible and concrete plans to attack power infrastructure since at least 2020, with power grids being particularly attractive.” We have identified it as a targeted target,” he warned. However, DHS has not issued a statement linking the current situation in Moore County to extremism.
There are approximately 55,000 substations in the United States. Earlier this year’‘ reported how vulnerable they are often.
John Wellinhoff, former chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, told 60 Minutes correspondent Bill Whittaker, “Across the United States, how many substations would have to be taken out to knock out an entire grid? Very few.
Mark Strassmann and Nicole Sganga of CBS News contributed to the report.