Vandals left a North Carolina county with a massive power outage on Saturday night, according to a report from ABC News. The outlet calls the incident “intentional vandalism,” and it left about 45,000 people without power around 7 pm on Dec. 3.
The Moore County Sheriff’s Office investigated the outage as a “criminal occurrence” after finding evidence of vandalism at multiple substations. The outage occurred on Saturday night, with many Duke Energy customers still without power on Sunday morning. This after having to go through freezing temperatures that night.
“As utility companies began responding to the different substations, evidence was discovered that indicated that intentional vandalism had occurred at multiple sites,” the Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.
Duke Energy crews were working to restore power in Moore County by 10 am on Sunday. Additionally, police were on the scene to provide security while crews restored power. According to a Duke Energy spokesperson, they expect the outages to extend through Sunday, Dec. 4. The spokesperson said that crews are attempting to repair “indications of public interference and vandalism” on the substations.
North Carolina Sees Massive Power Outage Over the Weekend
According to Mike Cameron, Southern Pines’ assistant town manager and fire chief, Duke Energy alerted him that two substations in the area had been hit with gunfire.
“Everything that I’m understanding is that it’s not an accidental cause,” Cameron told the Raleigh News and Observer. Several traffic accidents occurred after the outage, including a multi-car accident at a Southern Pines intersection. Cameron said that the vandalism and subsequent outage were definitely to blame. “The car wreck was totally because the stop lights were out,” said Cameron.
Additionally, Moore Regional Hospital in Pinehurst, NC, lost power as well. The outage forced them to rely on their back-up generator. North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper posted an update on Twitter, sharing that he spoke with Duke Energy officials and state law enforcement on the issue.
“They are investigating and working to return electricity to those impacted. The state is providing support as needed,” said Cooper. As of Sunday, Dec. 4, no arrests have been made and there seem to be no suspects.
Squirrels and Raccoons Causes Black-Outs All Over the United States
In Oregon this past October, a squirrel caused a power outage that left about 2,000 people in the dark. East Salem, Oregon residents lost power around 10:42 am on Oct. 18, and crews restored it around noon. A squirrel in Minnesota left 9,000 people without power in September, while the small town of Seguin, Texas reported a second outage at the hands of raccoons in just three days in October as well. The town posted a hilarious photo of a raccoon in jail, claiming they caught their vandal. In reality, unfortunately the raccoons involved in the incident didn’t survive.