In light of recent assaults on power substations in the South and on the West Coast, authorities are looking into an increasing number of reported threats to power infrastructure.
The Gateway Pundit previously reported that a massive power outage in North Carolina was caused by two substations being damaged by gunfire last week, according to the Moore County Sheriff’s Office.
Over 40,000 people were left without power because of the criminal actions.
Mike Cameron of the Southern Pines Fire and Rescue Department told CNN that a gate at one of the locations was taken off the hinges.
his 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. pic.twitter.com/Rsgl6VvaXB
— いぶき (@ibuki53010508) December 4, 2022
Duke Energy spokesman Jeff Brooks told WRAL that crews are experiencing “multiple equipment failures” at substations in Moore County.
“We are actively investigating signs of potential vandalism related to the outages,” Brooks said.
According to recent reports, the FBI is investigating similar attacks in Washington and Oregon in November.
The Seattle Times reported that Puget Sound Energy, the Cowlitz County Public Utility District, and Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) have all said they are cooperating with a federal investigation into the attacks. However, the FBI has declined to confirm that it is conducting such an investigation.
An internal federal law enforcement memo warning of the recent attacks has been obtained exclusively by NewsNation.
“Power companies in Oregon and Washington have reported physical attacks on substations using hand tools, arson, firearms and metal chains possibly in response to an online call for attacks on critical infrastructure… In recent attacks, criminal actors bypassed security by cutting the fence links, lighting nearby fires, shooting equipment from a distance or throwing objects over the fence and onto equipment,” according to the memo.
Beyond this month’s incidents in South Carolina and North Carolina, where lights flickered back on Wednesday:
• In Oregon, a substation in Clackamas was damaged in a “deliberate physical attack” over the Thanksgiving holiday, a Bonneville Power Administration spokesperson told CNN. “BPA operators discovered a cut perimeter fence and damaged equipment inside,” the spokesperson said, adding the company is working with the FBI on the incident.
• In Washington state, “two incidents occur(ed) in late November at two different substations,” Puget Sound Energy spokesperson told CNN. “Both incidents are currently under investigation by the FBI,” it said, adding, “We are aware of recent threats on power systems across the country and take these very seriously.”
And two Cowlitz County Public Utility District substations were vandalized in mid-November in the Woodland area, agency spokesperson Alice Dietz told The Seattle Times. “At this time, we do not have any further comment … Our facilities have since been repaired,” Dietz told the Times. CNN has reached out to the FBI’s office in Seattle for comment.