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In North Carolina, vandals leave thousands in the dark

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2022-12-04T22:45:32Z

Residents of a central North Carolina county faced a second night of freezing weather without power on Sunday after vandals opened fire on two electric substations in what authorities called a “targeted attack.”

A motive for the Saturday night damage spree wasn’t clear, said Moore County Sheriff Ronnie Fields. Due to outages, schools will be closed Monday and potentially longer. Sunday church services and a well-known golf resort were disrupted.

About 64% of Moore County’s electric customers remained without power on Sunday night in the largely rural area about 90 miles (145 km) east of Charlotte, according to tracking site poweroutage.us.

The lights went dark at about 7 p.m. Saturday for 40,000 homes and businesses in Moore County. It was “a targeted attack. It wasn’t random,” Fields said. Utility workers found gates broken and evidence of gunfire damage to equipment.

The outages could stretch through Thursday, said Jeff Brooks, spokesperson for Duke Energy Corp (DUK.N), because of the extent of the damage.

Church services were canceled at the Pinehurst United Methodist Church. At the famed Pinehurst Resort, managers scrambled Sunday to make sure golfers could still tee off.

A curfew was in effect for Sunday night and a shelter that can hold up to 250 people was opened, officials said.

Fields dismissed online rumors that the incident was connected to a drag show.

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Duke Energy workers gather as they plan how to repair a crippled electrical substation that they said was hit by gunfire after the Moore County Sheriff said that vandalism caused a mass power outage, in Carthage, North Carolina, U.S. December 4, 2022. REUTERS/Jonathan Drake

A Duke Energy worker inspects a transformer radiator that he said was damaged by gunfire that crippled an electrical substation after the Moore County Sheriff said that vandalism caused a mass power outage, in Carthage, North Carolina, U.S. December 4, 2022. REUTERS/Jonathan Drake

Barriers designed to absorb oil are placed neare a damaged transformer that Duke Energy workers said was hit by gunfire that crippled an electrical substation after the Moore County Sheriff said that vandalism caused a mass power outage, in Carthage, North Carolina, U.S. December 4, 2022. REUTERS/Jonathan Drake

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