Over 35,000 people in central North Carolina remain without power more than three days after vandals opened fire on two power substations in Moore County.
Officials have not identified any suspects or a motive for the attack, which caused significant damage to the equipment.
“We are looking at everything right now,” Moore County Sheriff Ronnie Fields said. “There’s absolutely nothing off the table. We’re investigating all leads.”
“We have cooperation from federal and state law enforcement agencies that are assisting us with this, and there’s no stone that we’re leaving unturned,” he added.
Fields noted that the vandals “knew exactly what they were doing” when they opened fire on the substations, which are about five miles apart.
Duke Energy said they have been working around the clock to restore power but cautioned that some residents may not have electricity back until Thursday. Some of the equipment was damaged beyond repair and needed to be replaced. Officials said that damage could cost over one million dollars to fix.
“We are restoring customers where possible, but the damage is beyond repair in some areas. That leaves us with no option but to replace large pieces of equipment — which is not an easy or quick task,” Jason Hollifield, Duke Energy’s general manager for emergency preparedness, said in a statement.