Power restored: Moore County residents try to return to normal after substation attack

Damage has been repaired and power was restored to Moore County on Wednesday night after two substations were shot up over the weekend.

Now, it’s time for residents to try and recover after the power grid attack.

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Ronnie’s Chuckwagon Restaurant has been an institution in Carthage since 1968.

“It was starting all over from zero and then I was short on employees, so we weren’t able to run the complete menu,” said Ronnie Gray, who has owned the restaurant since 1983.

He has spent most of the last two days emptying his freezer after the health department suspended operational permits.

Gray said he lost about $5,000 worth of food since the power went out.

Lisa’s Boutique in downtown Carthage was open Wednesday.

Owner Lisa Padilla said she didn’t lose that much.

“You never know what you have until it’s been taken away,” Padilla said. “So very fortunate to have power and it makes us appreciate that we do have power more now than ever.”

The Christmas lights were back on at the Williams household Wednesday night.

“We started decorating the day after Halloween, and we would have done it sooner,” Hannah Williams said.

She wants to know why someone would knock out power to an entire county.

“It’s a crazy situation,” Williams said. “It was hard without having hot water, as well. Hard to cook and my grandpa two houses down had a stroke, and he’s paralyzed. And so it’s been terrible for him because he can’t move.”

Two power substations in a North Carolina county were damaged by gunfire in what is being investigated as a criminal act, causing damage that could take days to repair and leaving tens of thousands of people without electricity, authorities said.
Two power substations in a North Carolina county were damaged by gunfire in what is being investigated as a criminal act, causing damage that could take days to repair and leaving tens of thousands of people without electricity, authorities said.

Getting power back

In a statement to customers on its website earlier, the energy company said that all of the equipment damaged in an attack on two North Carolina substations Saturday has been fixed or replaced. The company said that Moore County customers will gradually get power back throughout the day as it finishes testing and completes restoration safely.

“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,” the statement said.

In a news release, Gov. Roy Cooper announced a reward of up to $75,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of whoever is responsible for the attacks. The FBI also published a poster seeking information about the incident.

Fewer than 1,200 customers were without power in the county Wednesday afternoon, according to Duke Energy spokesperson Jeff Brooks. That was down from a peak of more than 45,000 customers without power over the weekend and about 35,000 who didn’t have power Wednesday morning.

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Authorities have said the outages began shortly after 7 p.m. Saturday night after one or more people drove up to two substations, breached the gates and opened fire on them.

Schools are closed through Thursday. The Moore County School District will announce by Wednesday at 4 p.m. whether schools will be closed to students on Friday.

The county’s transportation services are operating only for clients who have scheduled dialysis, chemotherapy and radiation treatment, according to the Moore County website.

The county’s State of Emergency will remain until 5 a.m. Thursday, which is when officials said it will officially end.

Anyone with information about the case should call the Moore County Sheriff’s Office at 910-947-4444, or the FBI at 1-800-CALL FBI.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

(WATCH BELOW: Power grid attack: Duke Energy previously fined for security violations, report alleges)