North Carolina power outage remains under investigation

Southeast

(NewsNation)  — The investigation is ongoing into what police have said were targeted shooting attacks on two North Carolina power substations.

Power has been restored in North Carolina after shooting incidents at two power substations in the state knocked out electricity for thousands of customers. A local commissioner in the community says those responsible knew what they were doing.

“My logic tells me — and it’s just my opinion — that they actually knew where to shoot and how to shoot it,” said Nick Picerno, chairman of the Moore County Board of Commissioners.

The bullets appeared to have disabled fans on the transformer.

“Because by shooting those fans, (the attackers) caused the hole to drain slowly, causing not an immediate power outage or an explosion, but a slow drying of the oil,” he said.

Moore County felt the brunt of the North Carolina outage, leaving some retired residents without power.

“I have a lot of retirees here,” Picerno said. “When the power goes off and they have no means to heat their homes, it puts a lot of people at risk.”

Power has since been restored, but police haven’t released many details of the investigation, including how many people might be behind the attacks.

Roughly 36,100 electric customers in the county still were without power by Monday morning, which was down by several thousand compared to the peak of the outages, according to poweroutage.us.

With cold temperatures Sunday night, the county also opened a shelter at a sports complex in Carthage.

“I’m hoping once these perpetrators are caught, that they are personally prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” Picerno said. “And that the penalty will be so great that it would be a deterrent from anyone else ever trying to pull this kind of stunt again.”

Meanwhile, investigators in South Carolina are promising to leave no stone unturned following reports of shots fired near a power substation days after the North Carolina outages.

Police say the incidents aren’t connected, despite similarities.

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