Gunfire in an apparent act of criminal vandalism led to damages to multiple power substations in a North Carolina county, which resulted in more than 40,000 customers losing electricity, the Associated Press reports.
The outages were reported across Moore County just after 7:00 p.m. on Saturday (December 3) in relation to what is being investigated as a criminal act, Sheriff Ronnie Fields confirmed in a Facebook post.
"As utility companies began responding to the different substations, evidence was discovered that indicated that intentional vandalism had occurred at multiple sites," the post stated. "Moore County Sheriff’s Deputies and various other law enforcement agencies within the county responded to the different areas and are providing further site security."
A total of 41,872 electric customers were still without power in Moore County as of Sunday (December 4) afternoon, according to PowerOutage.us.
Southern Pines Fire Chief Mike Cameron, who also serves as the assistant town manager, said two substations were damaged as a result of gunfire, but the possible motive for the incident wasn't clear, citing information provided to him by Duke Energy.
Moore County deputies and other local law enforcement agencies provided security at the sties affected by the incidents, the sheriff's office confirmed.