Thousands entered their third day on Tuesday without lights and heat, after “targeted attacks” on two electrical transformers in a North Carolina county over the weekend caused widespread county-wide blackouts and school closures.
In the early hours of Tuesday morning, more than 38,000 utility customers in Moore County were still without power, according to online outage tracker poweroutage.us, the number representing more than half of monitored customers.
The blackouts came after a suspect allegedly went to two Duke Energy electrical substations on Saturday night and opened fire, shutting down two substations and blacking out tens of thousands of people.
Moore County Sheriff Ronnie Fields said the attacks on substations located about 5 miles apart in the West End and Carthage appeared to have been targeted, but the motive for the attacks remained unclear.
A theory has continued to circulate on social media that the cuts may have been intended to halt a drag performance that faced backlash and protests.
On Monday, Fields said officials had not ruled out a possible link.
“We’re looking at everything right now,” Fields said. “There is absolutely nothing off the table. We’re looking for all the clues.”
“We have collaboration with federal and state law enforcement helping us with this, and no stone is left unturned,” he said, as the FBI and state investigators joined the investigation to find out who was behind the attacks. Why.
In the district, where a curfew was declared from 21.00 in the evening to 5.00 in the morning, a shelter was organized for those who need medical equipment or electricity for heating.
Meanwhile, schools remained closed on Tuesday.
Moore County Schools said, “Due to the ongoing widespread power outage in Moore County and Moore County Schools operations, all schools will be closed to all students and staff on Tuesday.” aforementioned Monday in a tweet.
It was stated that the announcement on whether the schools will remain closed on Wednesday will be made on Tuesday at 16.00.
Duke Energy said on Monday that crews have restored electricity to thousands of customers since the two substations were attacked, but the company warned that for many, outages could continue until at least Thursday.
“We are reinstating customers where possible, but in some areas the damage is beyond repair. This leaves us no choice but to replace large pieces of equipment, which is not an easy or quick job,” said Jason Hollifield, Duke Energy’s general manager of emergency preparedness. ” said.
The company explained that electrical substations play an important role in getting electricity to customers, as they “serve to regulate the voltage from generation sources (such as power plants) – lowering it so that homes and businesses can be energized.”
The energy company asked customers to turn off appliances and other electrical devices that might be on when the power goes out, so that there is no sudden surge in the system when the power is restored.
“Customers affected by the disruption should consider moving family members, especially those with special needs, to a safe and alternative location due to the estimated time required for service to fully recover,” the company said.
He added that he will continue to work with local, state and federal agencies in their ongoing investigation into the incident.