State Watch

FBI joins probe into armed attack on North Carolina power grid

The FBI has joined the investigation into vandalism at two substations that caused roughly 40,000 people in Moore County, N.C., to lose power on Saturday night.

Moore County Sheriff Ronnie Fields said at a Sunday press conference that his department was working with the FBI and the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation to probe the incident, which officials say involved an individual shooting and causing damage at two substations.

“FBI Charlotte is investigating the willful damage to power facilities in Moore County. We are in regular contact with local law enforcement and private sector partners. Due to the ongoing investigation, the FBI has no additional comment,” said FBI Charlotte spokeswoman Shelley Lynch.

Fields at a press conference also responded to speculation that the damage was done in connection with a drag show happening nearby that evening, but Fields indicated there was no evidence tying the incident to the show.

Officials haven’t yet identified a motivation behind the incident or who was responsible.

“We’ll get it, it’s just going to take some time,” Fields said.

The Hill has reached out to the FBI for comment.

Duke Energy’s outage map indicates about 33,000 customers remain without power in the county as of Monday morning.

Jeff Brooks, a spokesperson for Duke Energy, indicated some customers may not have power until Thursday.

“We’re pursuing multiple paths of restoration so that we can restore as many customers as possible as quickly as possible, recognizing that we are looking at a pretty sophisticated repair with some fairly large equipment,” Brooks said at the press conference. “And so we do want citizens of the town to be prepared that this will be a multiday restoration for most customers.”

Schools were closed in the area on Monday as local officials encouraged residents to utilize shelters.

Temperatures in Moore County dipped into the 30s overnight but are expected to warm up later this week.

Updated: 11:55 a.m.

Tags North Carolina power outages

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