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Massive power outages in North Carolina caused by shootings could last days 

A group of vandals is suspected to have sabotaged two key electrical substations in Moore County, North Carolina, leaving thousands without power

December 5, 2022 8:39pm

Updated: December 5, 2022 8:39pm

Thousands of people in a North Carolina county were left without power for days after two power stations were shot up by individuals with apparent criminal intent, reported The Associated Press. 

On Saturday night, a group of vandals is suspected to have sabotaged two key electrical substations in Moore County, North Carolina, about 60 miles (95 kilometers) southwest of Raleigh. The attack created a massive blackout in the region. 

About 9,000 Duke Energy customers had their power restored by Monday evening. However, out of the 100,000 inhabitants of Moore County, around 45,000 customers were still without power. 

Many residents have been struggling to stay warm after temperatures dropped below freezing on Monday and are expected to remain in the low 40s throughout the week.

As a result, schools, businesses, and restaurants announced that they would be closed for the second day in a row. Traffic lights were out countywide. 

A state of emergency went into effect on Sunday and a shelter was opened at the Moore County Sports Complex. Additionally, authorities established a curfew from 9 p.m. ET to 5 a.m. beginning Sunday. 

Federal investigators “are leaving no stone unturned in this investigation to find those who are responsible,” said Governor Roy Cooper at a news conference. 

“Protecting critical infrastructure like our power system must be a top priority,” Cooper added. “This kind of attack raises a new level of threat. We will be evaluating ways to work with our utility providers and our state and federal officials to make sure that we harden our infrastructure where necessary.”

According to Moore County Sheriff Ronnie Fields, whoever caused the power outage “knew exactly what they were doing to ... cause the outage that they did.”

"It wasn't random," Fields concluded.

The restoration of power in Moore County will be gradual because it cannot be rerouted. Instead, a lot of the equipment will have to be repaired or replaced, said Duke Energy spokesman Jeff Brooks. 

"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 multiday restoration for most customers, extending potentially as long as Thursday," Brooks said