Who Shot Up Two Electric Power Stations in North Carolina?
by Jack Philips, Epoch Times, December 6, 2022
Shortly after 7 p.m. on Saturday night in Moore County, N.C., the lights began to go out, and there was a total loss of power to about 45,000 residents. The initial investigation by local and county police revealed that two electric power stations had been deliberately targeted by what appeared to be gunfire.
The FBI was called in, and the investigation by local, state, and federal law enforcement intensified. Rumors immediately started circulating among leftist groups that the attack was by "right-wing domestic terrorists" after a local activist suggested that it had to do with "drag queen show" that was going to happen in the community.
Emily Grace Rainey, an outspoken opponent of the drag show, posted an invitation on her Facebook page to the protest at the theater. After the lights went out, Rainey, who became known in Moore County during the pandemic for her opposition to mask mandates, posted on Facebook that, “The power is out in Moore County and I know why.” After meeting with police it was revealed that she felt that God had taken action to stop the drag show.
A news conference by Moore County Sheriff Ronnie Fields on Monday revealed little new information, but the sheriff suggested that the act of vandalism may have been more than kids creating mischief. He called the attacks “targeted” and said they were carried out by a person or persons who “knew exactly what they were doing.”
The state of emergency means that a curfew is in place from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. every night until Dec. 9 at 5 p.m. Residents in Moore County were also urged to conserve fuel.
A spokesperson for Duke Energy confirmed that a substantial amount of equipment has to be replaced.
“Unlike perhaps a storm where you can go in and reroute power somewhere else, that was not an option in this case, so repair has to be complete; in many cases, some of that equipment will have to be replaced,” Duke Energy spokesman Jeff Brooks told the Fayetteville Observer. “Recognizing that we are looking at a pretty sophisticated repair with some pretty large equipment and so we do want citizens of the town to be prepared that this will be a multi-day restoration for most customers extending potentially as long as Thursday.”
The firm said in a news release on Tuesday that 10,000 people had their power restored. It said that about 35,000 customers still lacked power.
“Repairing and replacing this equipment is a methodical process that takes several days,” said Jason Hollifield, a Duke official. “Once repairs are made, we must test the equipment before beginning the final restoration process. We sincerely appreciate the patience and understanding our customers have shown.”
North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper also said that it was a “criminal attack” that left thousands of people without power in Moore County, and officials said that a group of people vandalized and shot at power equipment in the county, causing the outage.
“This kind of attack raises a new level of threat,” Cooper said, according to local news reports. “I am sure that we will learn more about motives of this intentional attack to come. Regardless of motive, violence and sabotage will not be tolerated,” he added.
North Carolina state Sen. Tom McInnis told NPR that authorities are determined to find out who caused the outage. So far, no motive was provided and no suspects have been announced.
“It is going to be very, very dark and it’s going to be chilly tonight,” he said. “And we don’t need to have anyone out on the streets.”
Schools were shut down across the county on Tuesday for a second straight day.
“It is a selfish act. It is cruel,” Carol Haney, the mayor of Southern Pines in Moore County, told CNN on Monday. “There are so many people that are hurting. The revenue stream has been stopped. If you have health issues, it is critical. It is just a horrible, horrible, terrorist, in my opinion, act.”