‘New level of threat’: Shots at two US power stations leave thousands without power | US News

The FBI has been called in after shootings at two power stations in North Carolina left tens of thousands without power.

Across Moore County, businesses, stores and restaurants were forced to close, traffic lights went out and emergency shelters were set up in the wake of the attack.

A state of emergency has been declared and schools will be closed for the second day in a row on Tuesday.

The announcement included an overnight countywide curfew through at least Friday.

A total of 38,000 homes remained without power amid the cold nighttime temperatures. At its peak, 45,000 people were helpless.

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper warned the incident posed a “new threat” and called for better protection of critical infrastructure, including the power grid.

“Protecting critical infrastructure such as our power system must be a top priority,” he said. “This kind of thing can’t happen.”

Crews at Duke Energy Corp. work to restore power to a damaged substation in Carthage, North Carolina, U.S., on December 4, 2022, workers said, after the Moore County Sheriff said vandalism caused a massive outage , the substation was shot.REUTERS/Jonathan Drake

Asked whether the attack was being investigated as an act of domestic terrorism, Mr Cooper said “investigators are leaving no stone unturned”.

Police said the shooting was committed by someone with “criminal intent.”

Their comments follow online speculation that the attack was a protest against a drag show planned for Saturday.

Organizers of a show at the Sunrise Theater in Southern Pines say far-right activists have been trying to shut it down for weeks, but police insist they have found no evidence to support the theory.

Federal agencies, including the FBI and U.S. Department of Energy, are working with local and state law enforcement to investigate the shooting.

So far, no motive has been suggested and no arrests have been made.

The White House said U.S. President Joe Biden was briefed on Saturday’s events.

Moore County is located approximately 95 kilometers (60 miles) southwest of the state capital, Raleigh.

Sheriff Ronnie Fields said the perpetrators “knew exactly what they were doing … causing the blackout that they did”.

Source link