Power Outage Emergency in North Carolina: Tens of Thousands Left Without Electricity and in Freezing Weather



John Nagy/The Pilot, via Associated Press

Britta Wolker, Journalist

Most commonly, any interruption between power generation and the supply of electricity to homes is caused by inclement weather conditions, human error, equipment failure, and even animal interference. A power outage may disrupt communications, water, transportation, close retail businesses, banks, cause food spoilage and water contamination —but most frightening of all, it may cause people to withstand uncomfortably cold conditions.


The difference between a typical power outage and the one that occurred this past Sunday, is that evidence of sabotage was found at two key electrical substations following the massive blackout in Moore County. Jeff Brooks, spokesman for Duke Energy, the local public utility, said the two electrical substations were severely damaged in the attacks and much of the equipment will have to be replaced.


At least 35,430 utility customers awoke for the second day Monday without electricity, officials said. Senior Kate Taricani responds to the situation with empathy, “I know that North Carolina is a long way from California, but I do worry about people who really need the money not being able to work for even a day.” Moore County Sheriff Ronnie Fields told ABC News this was an intentional act and if someone dies as a result of the blackout the suspect or suspects could face murder charges.


No arrests have been announced. Fields declined to comment on a possible motive, but said the investigation has yet to uncover evidence linking the vandalism to a Downtown Divas drag show in Southern Pines that has sparked community protests. The sheriff called the attacks an “eye opener” and said he has spoken to North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper and state senators and representatives about tightening security. With the recent shooting in Colorado, the community fears the incident might be deemed as a hate crime.