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An attack on two electrical substations in rural North Carolina has left tens of thousands of people without power, schools closed, a curfew imposed, and authorities investigating what they say was an intentional, criminal attack.

As the outages continued into Monday, questions persisted about who carried out the attack and what could have been their motive in knocking out power to Moore County and its 100,000 residents.

The FBI is leading an investigation in Moore County after the electrical power grid was “intentionally attacked,” causing a major outage.

The number of people without power included 60% of the county, leading officials to declare a state of emergency. The county has also declared a 9 p.m. Eastern Time curfew. Schools are closed on Monday.

Sheriff Ronnie Fields said gunshots were fired at the substations taking out the power first in Carthage about 7 p.m. then shortly thereafter when a second substation was attacked, spreading to the greater majority of the county. More than 40,000 residents were without power.

A press conference held on Sunday afternoon noted that firearms were used to shoot and damage equipment at two substations.

“The NC Department of Public Safety is working with our local and federal law enforcement partners and will provide the appropriate state resources needed to assist in this investigation,” North Caroline Department of Public Safety Secretary Eddie Buffaloe, Jr. said during the press conference, according to WSOC-TV.

A Duke Energy representative said the repair includes the replacement of substantial equipment.

“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,” said spokesman Jeff Brooks. “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.”

Gov. Roy Cooper (D) tweeted concerning the issue after talking with leaders at Duke Energy, the area’s power company.

“I appreciate the swift response from local and state emergency responders in Moore County to protect public safety and work with Duke Energy to restore power,” he wrote.

Watch the video report below for more details:

Sources: DailyWire, WSOC-TV

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