Moore County in North Carolina instituted a 9:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. curfew Sunday after two power substations were damaged by gunfire, leaving some 40,000 people without power through the night.
A state of emergency was issued around 4:00 p.m. on Sunday after the mass outage was discovered to be the result of two “intentional” and “targeted” attacks that are believed to have taken place late Saturday afternoon, according to CNN. Responding utility crews discovered that equipment had been vandalized at multiple sites, including the two substations damaged by gunfire, which prompted a criminal investigation.
“The person, or persons, who did this knew exactly what they were doing,” Moore County Sheriff Ronnie Fields said during a Sunday news conference. “We don’t have a clue why Moore County.” Fields added that social media rumors claiming that the vandalism was an attempt to stop a local drag show have not been substantiated. He also said law enforcement currently have no leads, no one has stepped forward to claim responsibility and an underlying motivation has not been determined.
As of 6 a.m., more than 33,000 people in Moore County remained without power after an attack on the power grid. Thank you to all of the public and private-sector workers who are working on this and providing shelter and essential services to those in danger due to this attack. pic.twitter.com/yGiARFmwsZ
— NC Retired Governmental Employees’ Association (@NCRGEA) December 5, 2022
As of Monday morning, a majority of the county continued to report outages on the Duke Energy outage map for the area, with some reports spilling into Hoke County. It’s unclear whether the outages impacted Fort Bragg, one of the largest military installations in the U.S., just a few miles from Moore County. (RELATED: Medical Student Allegedly Missed Vein, Jabbed Man Twice Because He Mocked Her Pronoun Pin)
The cost of fixing the damage is going to go into the “millions,” Fields noted, and could take until Thursday to restore, even with Duke Energy working around the clock on repairs. Shelters and various facilities are being brought to Moore County Sports Center on behalf of the county and the Red Cross.