As we reported early Sunday morning, several power substations in Moore County, North Carolina were attacked Saturday night, resulting in 40,000 people losing power and effectively shutting down the county.
Once the infrastructure could be examined in the daylight, it was determined that the damage was much more extensive than first thought, and local news reports said sources within the county’s emergency management office believed power could be out through Thursday.
his photos shows the gate to the Duke Energy West End substation in Moore County, N.C. on Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022. Tens of thousands were without power in the county after what authorities say was an act of criminal vandalism at multiple substations. pic.twitter.com/Rsgl6VvaXB
— いぶき (@ibuki53010508) December 4, 2022
This estimate was confirmed during a Sunday afternoon news conference, at which officials also announced that a State of Emergency had been declared for the county.
Sheriff Ronnie Fields said that shortly after 7 PM Saturday night power outages started near Carthage, in the northeastern portion of the county, and:
Upon the arrival of the power crews and our deputies, extensive damage was found at their substations. Evidence at the scene indicated that the — showed that a firearm had been used to disable the equipment. Our deputies, along with all municipalities, police officers, state SBI, different ones come out and assisted us throughout the night to provide security at all of our substations.
The county announced that as part of the State of Emergency, shelters are open throughout the county for those who need it. Schools are closed for the next few days, both private and public, because of the power situation, and a curfew is in place from 9 PM to 5 AM.
Two of the substations affected by the attacks are part of Duke Energy’s power grid, and that damage was explained by Duke Energy’s Jeff Brooks:
As you heard from the Sheriff, last night between 7 and 8 PM one of our substations went offline. It was followed shortly thereafter by another substation. During our investigation of the outage, we did determine that there had been intentional impact on the substation, damaging multiple pieces of equipment in the substation and causing power to go out there.
Unlike perhaps a a storm where you can go in and reroute power somewhere else, that was not an option in this case. So repair has to be completed. In many cases, some of that equipment will have to be replaced, and our crews are currently working on the repair plan. We’re pursuing multiple paths of restoration so that we can restore as many customers as possible, as quickly as possible. Recognizing that, 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.
According to WRAL:
A Duke Energy outage map Saturday evening showed 37,998 customers without power in Moore County; The Randolph Electric Membership Corporation also reported nearly 3,000 customers without power in the southern part of the county. As of Sunday at 3 p.m. 44,657 people are without power, according to a Duke Energy outage map.
In addition to the two Duke Energy substations, a transmission substation operated by Randolph Electric Membership Corporation was heavily damaged. A system planning engineer with REMC told a reporter with Southern Pines local newspaper The Pilot that the perpetrators were familiar with how the stations were all connected to each other:
Working at the Eastwood power substation off Daubs Chapel Road, Aubin Reynolds, a system planning engineer with Randolph Electric Membership Corp., said that whoever attacked the power stations was familiar with the the power company and how the stations were all connected to each other.
Reynolds said the West End power substation, which was heavily damaged, is a transmission substation, which sends power down the line to smaller substations. Hitting that site hard would have a cascading effect of damage, Reynolds said.
State Sen. Tom McInnis promised that the perpetrator would be found:
Folks, this was a terrible act… and the perpetrator will be brought to justice and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
McGinnis also asked people who don’t have business in Moore County over the next few days to stay out of the county, since there are no traffic signals operable.
In addition to electrical power, other infrastructure such as water and sewer could be affected, but are operating on backup generator power currently according to The Pilot.
A representative from Moore County Public Utilities, who requested anonymity as he is not authorized to speak to the press, said the county is using generators to power sewer and water systems. At this time, he said most systems are up and running. These systems require power to avoid overflow and keep their contents moving.
A Facebook post by Southern Pines Fire and Rescue said “Southern Pines Water and Sewer are operating on generator power and we anticipate no interruption in these services.
As we reported Saturday night, Charlotte Clymer and other leftists are claiming that the attack was committed by “right wingers” who were opposed to a planned drag show at a Southern Pines theater. Sheriff Fields was asked whether officials were considering that angle and whether there was any evidence supporting that theory. Fields replied that his office and state and federal investigators are “working on every available angle” but that there was no evidence at this time to support that theory or any other motivation for the attack.
David Tice, producer and director of the upcoming documentary Grid Down, Power Up says that “this incident illustrates the vulnerability of our nation’s substations and the cascading effects that harm American families and businesses, and can lead to mass societal chaos.”
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