(NewsNation) — A Moore County official says those responsible for shooting at two power substations in North Carolina “knew where to shoot.”
Authorities say the FBI is investigating the attack targeting the substations. The outages have left thousands of people in the dark.
Nick Picerno, chairman of the Moore County, North Carolina, board of commissioners, appeared on “On Balance with Leland Vittert” to discuss the blackouts.
After visiting the site of the damaged substations, Picerno believes the attack was planned as the area is very difficult to access.
“It is very difficult to get to the actual location of this substation and it is huge in size. So think about the size of three quarters of a football field. And whoever was the person or persons that did this, they knew exactly where to shoot to create a slow leak in the transformers, which drain the oil, so they had time to get out and escape before anyone figured out as to the Energy. the network is going down,” Picerno said.
Picerno says that to his knowledge, investigators are no closer to understanding who did this and how it happened. He said authorities are keeping his information close to the vest.
“This is something that someone knew where to shoot, how to plan for it, make it look like maybe by doing another substation in Carthage that may have been a diversion, that this was the target because it brought down the main grid,” Picerno said.
In the wake of power outages in North Carolina, a recent federal police memo issued a new warning about the power grid.
The memo reads in part: “Power companies in Oregon and Washington have reported physical attacks on substations with hand tools, arson, firearms, and metal chains, possibly in response to an online call for attacks on critical infrastructure. …In recent attacks, criminal actors circumvented security by cutting fence links, lighting nearby fires, shooting equipment from a distance, or throwing objects over the fence and onto the equipment.”
For Picerno, he said his team is focusing on trying to get the energy back and keeping people informed on different issues.
Crews have been busy working trying to restore power to thousands. Picerno said power should be back on for most in Moore County on Wednesday, instead of Thursday.