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‘Intentional vandalism’ at substations the cause of power outage affecting over 40K residents of Moore County


A massive power outage is being reported in Moore County.

A Duke Energy outage map Saturday evening showed 37,998 customers without power in Moore County; The Randolph Electric Membership Corporation also reported nearly 3,000 customers without power in the southern part of the county.

WRAL viewers began calling in to report outages around 8:00 p.m.

Jeff Brooks with Duke Energy told WRAL News that crews are experiencing “multiple equipment failures” that are affecting substations in Moore County.

“We are also investigating signs of potential vandalism related to the outages,” said Brooks.

A massive power outage is being reported in Moore County.

Moore County Sheriff Ronnie Fields said just before midnight that the outage was being investigated as a “criminal occurrence.”

“As utility companies began responding to the different substations, evidence was discovered that indicated that intentional vandalism had occurred at multiple sites,” said Fields.

Fields said Moore County sheriff’s deputies and various other law enforcement agencies provided additional site security Saturday as utility crews worked.

Anyone with any information about this act of violence should contact the Moore County Sheriff’s Office at 910-947-2931.

The Village of Pinehurst sent out a police alert Saturday saying, “Additional officers have been called in to assist. Please stay off the roads if you can and treat all intersections as four way stops.”

The Duke Energy website lists the possible time of restoration as 10:00 p.m. Sunday evening, though many viewers have told WRAL News they were given quotes for early Sunday morning.

“We do not yet have an updated estimate on restoration time,” said Brooks. “We will update customers as that information becomes available.”

Saturday night, WRAL News crew arrived at the Walmart in Aberdeen to find a massive police presence; The crew was quickly instructed to leave by authorities who said it wasn’t safe.

Police said they were doing an employee head count.

It’s not currently known if this police response is in relation to the outages.

WRAL News is working to gather more information.