According to local authorities, power personnel in Moore County, North Carolina should have nearly all customers back up and running by midnight on Wednesday, at least one full day sooner than previously suggested after Duke Energy workers discovered that several power substations in the area were riddled with gunfire, prompting the outages.
But now, as the damage continues to be repaired, federal authorities are suggesting that these attacks appear to be a part of an emerging pattern.
NewsNation obtained a federal law enforcement memo warning, “Power stations in Oregon and Washington have reported physical attacks on substations using handtools, arson, firearms, and metal chains possibly in response to an online call for attacks on critical infrastructure.”Advertisement - story continues below
The memo said the aim is “to cause widespread power failures with the potential impact of social disruption and violent anti-government criminal activity.”
“In recent attacks, criminal actors bypassed security fences by cutting the fence links, lighting nearby fires, shooting equipment from a distance or throwing objects over the fence and on to equipment.”
In one similar attack, several men accused of plotting such attacks were found to have some rather ambitious, albeit hateful, motives.
In February, the Justice Department secured guilty pleas from three men accused of plotting to shoot substations, or power grids, with powerful rifles across the country.Advertisement - story continues below
The FBI said the defendants were White supremacists and expected the damage would cost the government millions of dollars, lead to power being out for months and evoke civil unrest and potentially a race war prompting the next Great Depression.
Authorities in North Carolina have yet to publicly name any suspects in the “intentional vandalism”, and no specific motive for the attack has been recognized by law enforcement.