Power restored in North Carolina county after substations fixed

MOORE COUNTY, N.C. — Officials with Duke Energy said Wednesday that the company has repaired or replaced equipment damaged by gunfire at a pair of substations over the weekend.

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The vandalism knocked out power for about 45,000 people in Moore County, utility officials said. In a statement to customers on its website, Duke Energy said that it aimed to have power restored to the majority of the about 12,000 residents who remained without electricity later Wednesday.

Update 1:14 a.m. EST Dec. 8: Power was restored to Moore County on Wednesday night after two substations were damaged by gunfire over the weekend, WSOC-TV reported.

“You think nothing of when you turn on a light switch, but whenever you don’t have power for a few days, and turn on light switches it means ... it’s just everything,” Moore County resident Jessica Lineberry told WTVD.

Original report: “Once we have completed all necessary testing, the gradual restoration of service to those Moore County communities still without power will begin,” utility officials said. “To avoid overwhelming the electrical system we will bring power back on gradually, with the goal of having the majority of customers restored before midnight tonight.”

Officials said tens of thousands of people lost power beginning Saturday night after a person or people breached the gates at a pair of substations and fired at equipment. On Sunday, Moore County Sheriff Ronnie Fields said the attacks were targeted and appeared to be aimed at shutting down power to the county.

“It wasn’t random,” he said. “The person that (did) this, or the persons, knew exactly what they were doing.”

The outage prompted officials to issue a curfew and closed schools across the county. Officials said that as of Wednesday, county transportation services were running only for people scheduled for dialysis, chemotherapy and radiation treatments.

Authorities, including the FBI, are investigating the incidents.

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