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After substation vandalism, power restoration could be several days away

Substation shooting AP.jpg
(John Nagy/The Pilot via AP)
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This photos shows the gate to the Duke Energy West End substation in Moore County, N.C. on Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022. Tens of thousands were without power in the county after what authorities say was an act of criminal vandalism at multiple substations. The Pilot newspaper in Southern Pines reported that infrastructure at the West End substation was damaged.

Duke Energy says about 7,000 customers in Moore County got power back by Monday morning after someone shot critical equipment at two substations over the weekend.

Duke spokesman Jeff Brooks says tens of thousands of customers are still without power and repairs could take until later this week.

“We could see some more customers coming on in the next day or so,” he said. “But the vast majority will need until about Wednesday or Thursday, to be restored due to the repairs that we're having to do and the equipment we have to replace.”

Brooks says extensive damage to the Moore County substations is slowing repairs.

“Some of that equipment could be repaired, or at least (is) in the process of being repaired. Other equipment was damaged to the point that it needed to be replaced,” he explained, “And that is where some of the challenges have come, in just, you know, the scale of work that has to be done there.”

The FBI and State Bureau of Investigation have joined the Moore County Sheriff's Office in trying to find who is responsible.

A curfew is in effect in Moore County from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. that will stay in place for the duration of a countywide state of emergency proclamation that was made on Sunday.