A North Carolina county declared a state of emergency on Monday (December 5th) after a “deliberate” attack caused a widespread power outage.
According to CBS News, Moore County, North Carolina was forced to declare a state of emergency after gunfire damaged two substations. This caused an outage that left around 45,000 people without power. Under the state of emergency, a curfew was put in a place. This means all residents are required to be home from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. each night. Residents are also encouraged to conserve fuel.
Jeff Brooks, a spokesman for Duke Energy, stated that the company did manage to restore power for around 7,000 customers. However, this meant that 38,000 remain without power. Brooks noted full restoration will not occur until Wednesday (December 7th) or Thursday (December 8th). Duke Energy also released a statement about the situation.
Jason Hollifield, Duke Energy’s general manager, Emergency Preparedness, then spoke about the current progress in the North Carolina county. “We are restoring customers where possible, but the damage is beyond repair in some areas. That leaves us with no option but to replace large pieces of equipment – which is not an easy or quick task. Duke Energy is committed to getting life back to normal for our customers. We thank them for their patience.”
Duke Energy asked customers to turn off appliances and other electrical devices that may have been on when the power went out. This is to make sure there is not an immediate surge in the system when power is restored. Such action will also protect those devices. “Customers affected by outages should consider moving family members – especially those with special needs – to a safe, alternative location due to anticipated time required to fully restore service.”
The Power Outage in North Carolina’s Moore County Also Rendered Wastewater Pumps Out of Order
Meanwhile, it was reported that the extensive power outage in Moore County, North Carolina also rendered the wastewater pumps to go out of order. The area’s schools were forced to close and emergency shelters have been opened to the public.
CBS News reported power outages in the North Carolina county were first reported on Saturday shortly after 7 p.m. It was revealed that when utility companies responded to the substations that there was evidence. This indicates intentional vandalism at multiple sites.
Moore County, North Carolina Sheriff Ronnie Fields stated the damage had been caused by gunfire. He also explained that the attacks were targeted and carried out by a person who knew exactly what they were doing. However, Fields could not determine if the incident rides to the level of domestic terrorism.
Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas addressed the situation. Mayorkas stated the attack “appears to have been deliberate.”