Washington: The FBI is working with state and local law enforcement officials across the U.S. to investigate a deliberate attack on two North Carolina substations over the weekend that left tens of thousands without power.
About 33,000 Duke Energy customers remained without power Monday after the facility was destroyed by a shooting that was a form of vandalism and whose motive was unclear, authorities said.
Shelley Lynch, a spokeswoman for the FBI’s field office in Charlotte, said the FBI was investigating “sabotage” of Moore County’s electrical facilities. She declined to provide further details.
Moore County Sheriff Ronnie Fields said Sunday that law enforcement officers are working to gather evidence and identify the perpetrators. Fields declined to say how many shots were fired at each substation or whether security cameras captured footage of the attack, citing the need for a conservation investigation.
Fields said investigators were looking into whether the incident was linked to a drag show Saturday night in the town of South Pines, but stressed that so far, there has been no link to the show.
Organizers of the event said they had received threats of violence from far-right activists on the eve of Saturday’s show, fayetteville observer reported Friday. Supporters and opponents of the show plan to stage a duel protest outside the venue.
Power outages began shortly after 7 p.m. Saturday, leaving tens of thousands of residents in the dark and leaving some without access to water, authorities said.
A statement from Duke Energy said power may not be restored to the area until Thursday, despite technicians working around the clock. The county declared a state of emergency and imposed a curfew, while schools were closed Monday.