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35,000 In NC Without Power As Substations Are Hit By Gunfire

Tens of thousands of people are bracing for days without electricity in a North Carolina county where two power substations were shot up by one or more people with apparent criminal intent. Across Moore County, southwest of Raleigh, businesses handed out free food or coffee, temporary stop signs were erected at intersections where traffic lights went dark and businesses without internet conducted transactions in cash. One local official described the area known for its golf courses and local pottery as “eerily quiet” at a time of year when businesses are normally full of tourists and holiday shoppers. County schools were closed, and a 9 p.m.-5 a.m. countywide curfew was in place. Federal, state and local authorities were undertaking a massive investigation of what’s being described as a serious attack on critical infrastructure. Utility officials said it could take until Thursday to restore all power. “An attack like this on critical infrastructure is a serious, intentional crime and I expect state and federal authorities to thoroughly investigate and bring those responsible to justice,” said Gov. Roy Cooper.

Moore County Sheriff Ronnie Fields said someone pulled up, breached the substation gates and opened fire at the substations. He said the substations were targeted: “It wasn’t random.” Fields said law enforcement is providing security at the substations and for businesses overnight. About 35,000 electric customers in the county were without power late Monday morning, down by several thousand from the peak of the outages Temperatures dropped below freezing early Monday, and lows in the 40s were expected again later in the week. About 20 people spent the night at an emergency shelter at the Moore County Sports Complex in Carthage, said Phil Harris of the local American Red Cross chapter. Harris, who’s managing a team of nine volunteers, said plenty more have stopped by for food, warmth or to charge their devices.


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