RALEIGH, North Carolina – Duke Energy said Wednesday it has completed repairs to substation equipment damaged in the shootings over the weekend that knocked out power to thousands of homes in central North Carolina and expects power to be restored by full by midnight.
In a statement on its website, the power company said all equipment damaged in an attack on two North Carolina substations on Saturday has been repaired or replaced. The company said Moore County customers will gradually restore power throughout the day as it finishes testing and safely completes restoration.
“To avoid overloading the electrical system, we will restore power gradually, with the goal of having the majority of customers restored by midnight tonight,” the statement said.
As of Wednesday morning, about 14,000 customers were without power in the county, according to poweroutage.us. That’s less than a spike of more than 45,000 customers without power over the weekend.
Authorities have said the blackouts began shortly after 7 p.m. Saturday night after one or more people made their way to two substations, broke down the doors and opened fire on them.
Police have not released a motive or said what type of weapon was used. But Moore County Sheriff Ronnie Fields told reporters Monday that whoever was responsible “knew exactly what they were doing to … cause the outage that they caused.”
The FBI posted a notice Wednesday seeking information related to the investigation.
Schools are closed until Thursday. The Moore County School District will announce Wednesday at 4 pm if schools will be closed to students on Friday. Once power is restored, the district requires 24 hours to prepare the facility before it can welcome students back.
FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital, a 402-bed acute care facility in Pinehurst, restored power shortly after 9 a.m. Wednesday and was gradually transitioning from emergency generators to normal power, the hospital’s website said.
County transportation services are operating only for customers scheduled for dialysis, chemotherapy and radiation treatment, according to the Moore County website.
Hannah Schoenbaum is a staff member of the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on covert issues.
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