DEVELOPING STORY: A state of emergency has been declared and a curfew enacted after the power grid was attacked in Moore County, North Carolina.
More than 40,000 customers were left in the dark and authorities say it may take days to repair the damage. Schools have been closed until further notice and the local hospital is operating on a generator.
The area has about 100,000 residents and is home to the world-famous Pinehurst Resort and a number of popular golf courses.
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Authorities say the power grid was targeted Saturday night by an untold number of people who shot up at least two substations.
“This was targeted,” Sheriff Ronnie Fields said. “They knew what they were doing.”
“I can promise you, to the perpetrators out there, we will find you,” Sheriff Fields said, noting that in addition to his office, the FBI, State Bureau of Investigation, and law enforcement in the county’s 11 municipalities were working “as a team” to investigate. He also said his office has been in contact with Gov. Roy Cooper.
There had been social media rumors that alleged a group of conservatives who had been upset about a local drag show performance may have been responsible.
Moore County Sheriff Ronnie Fields said investigators have found no evidence or reason to believe that the Saturday evening attack was tied to a controversial drag show in downtown Southern Pines. The power went out during the Downtown Divas show at the Sunrise Theater about an hour into the show. Prior to the show, a number of protesters and counter protesters had demonstrated out in front of the theater.The Pilot
“Is it possible? Anything’s possible. But we’ve not been able to tie anything back to the drag show,” he said.
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JUST IN: Moore County Sheriff says reports of the power grid attack being connected to a local drag show are incorrect. There's no evidence, the sheriff said.— toddstarnes (@toddstarnes) December 4, 2022
This is one of the heavily damaged @DukeEnergy substations in #MooreCounty. Sheriff: the suspect or suspects shot into the station, taking out the grid. He also said the perpetrator had knowledge of the system and “knew exactly what they were doing.” @WNCN @NewsNation @CBSNews pic.twitter.com/afMh8fkPb8— Lillian Donahue (@LillianDonahue) December 4, 2022
Reporter asks question that all of us want to know, is this domestic terrorism?— Genevieve Curtis (@GenevieveonTV) December 4, 2022
The sheriff says he can’t answer to domestic terrorism, that would be for feds to determine. But he says “this was targeted.”
He adds “they absolutely knew what they were doing.” @wsoctv