‘It could happen here’: Moore Co. blackouts a reminder of electric infrastructure importance

Electric grid attack puts officials on high alert
Published: Dec. 5, 2022 at 9:48 PM EST
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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - More than 30,000 people are still without power in Moore County after authorities say two power substations were shot up by one or more people with apparent criminal intent.

The damage in the county, just northwest of Fayetteville and southwest of Raleigh, is a reminder to those in our state of how fragile electrical infrastructure can be.

Residents in Moore County have been left in the dark as the FBI has been brought in to help investigate what has been described as a targeted and malicious attack. Gunfire damaged electrical equipment causing damage that could take days to repair, authorities said.

As the county declared a state of emergency Sunday afternoon and has a curfew set in place for its residents to keep them safe, WITN spoke with residents in Pitt County about what would happen if the power in Eastern Carolina was cut.

“If this happened in Greenville, I personally wouldn’t know what to do,” Shiyah Waller said. “It is too cold and just not having electricity is not something I would want to happen.”

Moore County Sheriff Ronnie Fields said in a press conference Sunday night that someone “opened fire on the substation, the same thing with the other one.”

Fields said that it appeared gates were breached at both sites. Officials here in the East are keeping their eyes peeled for similar attacks.

“I do believe that we did get something from the Sheriff’s Association notifying us about what had happened,” Pitt County Sheriff Paula Dance said. “It didn’t go into details, but we certainly are on heightened alert. It could always happen here.”

Fields said the estimated cost could be in the millions.