North Carolina County is Now Entering Its Third Day: A major outage that covered the county in darkness, closed schools and businesses and triggered a curfew has left residents of a North Carolina county in the dark for three days. The disruption is the suspected result of an attack on electric substations.
On Monday evening, poweroutage.us reported that at least 34,000 Moore County residents were still without electricity. Since Saturday night, when gunfire damaged two substations, knocking out power and causing equipment damage estimated in the millions of dollars, residents have been without electricity, as reported by the Moore County Sheriff’s Office.
Moore County Sheriff Ronnie Fields stated that whoever fired multiple shots at the substations “knew precisely what they were doing,” leading authorities to label the attacks as “deliberate” and “targeted.” So far, no suspects have been named, and the motivations behind the alleged attacks are unknown.
North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on Monday that investigators are leaving “no stone unturned” in their search for the perpetrators and their motivations. Disabling this substation on purpose is extreme conduct.
In any case, we need to identify the perpetrator(s). Cooper responded, “We want to find the motive,” when asked if there was anything to suggest it was an act of extremism or domestic terrorism. According to Fields, “no organisation has stepped up to acknowledge or realise they’re the ones who (did it).
North Carolina County is Now Entering Its Third Day
The governor emphasised that lessons must be learned from the situation, saying, “we cannot allow this type of wide power outage.” Oil-absorbing barriers are set up in Carthage, North Carolina, United States, on December 4, 2022, after the Moore County Sheriff said that vandalism caused a widespread power outage.
Duke Energy employees claimed that the shooting damaged a transformer at an electrical substation. Jonathan Drake/REUTERS A discussion of why the power grid is an “attractive target” for cybercriminals.
The governor went on to say, “We need to be cautious and watchful, understanding that our electric grid can’t be this vulnerable,” meaning that someone with knowledge of how to stop the electrical system might come in and do that in a very short amount of time.
According to Jeff Brooks, a spokeswoman for Duke Energy, just two substations were damaged physically, but the resulting outage affected around 45,000 customers at first. According to him, that’s essentially all of Moore County that the utility serves.
It was unclear from the sheriff’s briefing on Monday if both substations were hit at the same time or if they were hit one at a time. Costly repairs to the substations are expected to last several days as the inquiry proceeds (now involving the FBI and state investigators).
Meanwhile, the power disruptions have been a major hassle for locals. People who don’t have access to shelters or generators will have to deal with the cold, leave their homes to charge their phones, and navigate intersections without the benefit of traffic lights.
Many businesses and the county’s public schools have shuttered due to the storm. A backup generator is keeping the Pinehurst, North Carolina, facility open for patients at FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital. According to a statement released on Sunday, however, the hospital is delaying some elective surgeries.
Officials from the hospital have announced that all of the Moore County primary care, internal medicine, family medicine, and convenient care clinics would be closed until the power is restored. One pharmacy owner in Moore County has stated that he is keeping medications in his house (which is equipped with a generator) so that patients may continue to collect their prescriptions.
Whispering Pines Prescription Shoppe owner Rob Barrett thinks he has enough gas to keep the generator running, but the pharmacy has additional problems, including staff who can’t get to work because they don’t have gas money and trouble communicating.
— Seattle City Light (@SEACityLight) December 3, 2022
There has been a disruption in the water delivery to homes in the county’s rural sections due to the lack of electricity. Andrew Wilkins, whose parents run a farm in Whispering Pines, told CNN that “rural areas rely on energy a lot more than people know.”
When the power goes out, many people in large cities don’t lose access to water, but many people in rural areas rely on groundwater from wells. My household uses a well as its primary source of water; when the power goes out, the well automatically shuts off, the water pressure diminishes, and we gradually run out of water.
Since Sunday night, all residents and businesses in the county are subject to a mandatory curfew from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m., as announced by Fields. Mayor Carol Haney told CNN on Monday that the whole city of Southern Pines has lost electricity.
Self-centred behaviour. The mayor described the attacks, which have been suspected, as terrible. “There are a lot of folks in trouble. A source of income is no longer being received. It’s vital if you’re dealing with health problems. According to Haney, “it is just an awful, horrible, terrorist crime.”
A former Army PsyOps officer who vehemently protested a drag show scheduled in North Carolina says deputies questioned her about mass power outages in the county. Media said police are investigating multiple power substations that were allegedly “shot up.” https://t.co/6zGOhRgJjF
— Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) December 4, 2022
Her mother, who is 98 years old, needed to be moved to a warm environment, so she stated she had to take her to Charlotte. According to Southern Pines Fire & Rescue, the town’s water and sewer system is running on generator power because of the outage.
Southern Pines Fire Chief Mike Cameron told CNN that the area has experienced an uptick in both car accidents and fires as residents seek out other heating methods. Cameron also noted an increase in medical calls to the fire department from persons who use oxygen tanks or other electrically powered medical equipment.
Someone fired weapons at power substations, knocking out electricity to thousands, some soldiers and their families, near Fort Bragg, North Carolina:https://t.co/aUk2gyWvvM
— Military Times (@MilitaryTimes) December 5, 2022
Cooper said during a press conference on Monday that he is working to ensure that the state’s most vulnerable residents are protected in the event of widespread power outages, and that shelter, food, and medical treatment are accessible.
The Governor has also expressed “great worry” about the effect the extensive outages will have on small companies that had to close and on pupils who missed school. A “substantial amount of work” is needed to restore electricity.
Law enforcement is investigating this serious incident and Duke is working around the clock to restore service.
— Secretary Jennifer Granholm (@SecGranholm) December 5, 2022
It is possible that more outages could be restored “gradually” in the coming days, according to Brooks, a representative for Duke Energy, but many customers will be without power until Thursday.
When asked how difficult it is to replace certain pieces of equipment, Brooks replied, “It’s not as simple as changing a lightbulb.” Although Brooks acknowledged that some damaged machinery might be fixed on-site, he also noted that some machinery was beyond repair and would have to be replaced.
Sheriff’s deputies are standing guard at all of the county’s substations while the investigation is ongoing. There’s no way to know for sure that it’s over,” Cameron admitted. To make sure nothing else happens, however, law enforcement has a large role to play in protecting certain parts of our infrastructure.
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