Power company on 'final push' to restore electricity after gunfire

A $75,000 reward was posted for information leading to arrest and conviction of those responsible for blackout in Moore County, North Carolina.

 CARTHAGE, N.C. — Virtually all power has been restored in central North Carolina where gunfire led to massive power outages, officials said Wednesday as a $75,000 reward was offered for information that leads to the shooter or shooters responsible.

By 4 p.m. EST there were only 1,200 homes and businesses in Moore County without power, which was just a fraction of those who had been plunged into darkness, Duke Energy spokesman Jeff Brooks told reporters.

Work crews were on a "final push" to get all lights turned on again, four days after someone shot up two North Carolina substations, cutting off power for tens of thousands.

"Today I'm happy to say that we began the final push to completion," Brooks told reporters in Carthage. "We began bringing in customers a few thousand at at time. It was a phased approach, very manual."

Gov. Roy Cooper has called the shootings at two substations in Moore County, population of 100,000, located about 50 miles southwest of Raleigh, a “criminal attack.”

A $75,000 reward was posted, with $25,000 each from Gov. Cooper's office, Moore County and Duke Energy, officials said Wednesday.

At its peak, around 45,000 Moore County customers were left without power, Duke Energy said.

Law enforcement officials on Wednesday were tight-lipped about what their probe has unearthed so far, saying that didn't want to jeopardize the ongoing investigation.

No arrests have been announced and no suspect or suspects identified in the shooting at two substations around 5 miles apart Saturday.

“Every investigator working on this case, state, local and federal know what you want and that’s answers,” Moore County Sheriff Ronnie Fields told reporters.

"We want to know who and why and we’re committed to getting you these answers.” 

A hospital was left running on backup power, schools were closed, over 50 people stayed at a shelter Monday night and the county set up spaces for people to take a warm shower, do laundry and charge their phones.

“Whoever the perpetrator is — I can assure you, I hope they turn the power off in the cell they put you in,” Moore County Board of Commissioners Chairman Nick Picerno said Tuesday.

30,000 North Carolina residents still without power after power grid breach

DEC. 7, 202201:47

The power started going out in Moore County shortly after 7 p.m. Saturday, officials said, and investigators found the equipment had been struck by gunfire.

The person or people responsible drove to the substations, breaching a gate in one case, and opened fire, Sheriff Fields has said.

The FBI was among the law enforcement agencies assisting in the investigation.

Duke Energy said the vandalism destroyed large and vital pieces of equipment, which needed to be replaced. The utility said that involves a slow and methodical process as well as testing.

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