North Carolina county below curfew after energy station assault, FBI investigating By Reuters

© Reuters.

By Wealthy McKay and Sharon Bernstein

(Reuters) -Residents of a central North Carolina county confronted a second night time of freezing climate with out energy on Sunday after vandals opened hearth on two electrical substations in what authorities known as a “focused assault.”

A motive for the Saturday night time injury spree wasn’t clear, mentioned Moore County Sheriff Ronnie Fields. Attributable to outages, colleges might be closed Monday and probably longer. Sunday church providers and a widely known golf resort have been disrupted.

The incidents have been being investigated by native, state and federal regulation enforcement businesses, together with the FBI, Fields mentioned. U.S. Vitality Secretary Jennifer Granholm mentioned on Twitter that she had been in touch with Duke Vitality Corp (NYSE:), which owns the substations, and the Division of Vitality was working with different businesses to analyze and reply.

“FBI Charlotte is investigating the willful injury to energy services in Moore County,” the federal regulation enforcement company mentioned, referring to its places of work in Charlotte, North Carolina. “We’re in common contact with native regulation enforcement and personal sector companions.”

About 64% of Moore County’s electrical prospects remained with out energy on Sunday night time within the largely rural space about 90 miles (145 km) east of Charlotte, based on monitoring web site

The lights went darkish at about 7 p.m. Saturday for 40,000 houses and companies in Moore County. It was “a focused assault. It wasn’t random,” Fields mentioned. Utility staff discovered gates damaged and proof of gunfire injury to gear.

The outages might stretch by means of Thursday, mentioned Jeff Brooks, spokesperson for Duke Vitality, due to the extent of the injury.

Church providers have been canceled on the Pinehurst United Methodist Church. On the famed Pinehurst Resort, managers scrambled Sunday to ensure golfers might nonetheless tee off.

A curfew was in impact for Sunday night time and a shelter that may maintain as much as 250 folks was opened, officers mentioned.

Fields dismissed on-line rumors that the incident was related to a drag present.

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