Moore County has been without power since Saturday night, suspected to be caused by vandalism, leading to accidents and emergencies in the area.
The damage occurred at the county’s substation, prompting law enforcement officers to accompany crews dispatched to make repairs Saturday night. Southern Pines Deputy Mayor and Fire Chief Mike Cameron told the News and Observer on Sunday that two substations were damaged by the gunfire.
Duke Energy spokesman Jeff Brooks said Sunday that power might not be restored until Monday.
“There was some damaged equipment that had to be repaired or replaced, and it’s likely that this outage will continue today,” he told The N&O.
Protesters gathered outside the Sunrise Theater in downtown South Pines early Saturday, outraged by a drag show planned for Saturday night at the small venue.
Here is a summary of what we have learned about the emergency caused by the destruction of the substation:
▪ Moore Regional Hospital Switched to generator power Saturday night and was still running on backup power on Sunday.
“The Moore campus relies on backup generators to operate safely and we have had no issues or concerns,” Gretchen Kelly said. A message to staff said the outage would not affect patients.
▪ car accident: Cameron told The N&O that the power outage had led to multiple crashes, including a four-vehicle crash at the intersection in South Pines when stop lights went dark. Four people were taken to the hospital with minor injuries in the crash at the intersection of Morganton Road and US 15-501 in Southern Pines.
▪ Traffic lights that don’t work: A Facebook post from Southern Pines Fire & Rescue noted that there were no working traffic lights. NCDOT has since been posting temporary stop signs to help navigate traffic, Cameron said.
▪ Emergency services: Cameron said firefighters were busy responding to residents’ concerns about how the outage would affect vital medical equipment, while police responded to alarms and reports of burglaries.
Fire, police, water and sewer services were all running on generators, he said.
▪ Cold weather, no heat: Temperatures in the Southern Pines are in the low 40s Saturday night into Sunday morning, with below-freezing forecast for Sunday night into Monday morning.
Helping the People of Moore County
▪ charging station: The Southern Pines Police Department has opened its C. Michael Haney Community Room to the public for charging electronic devices. Where: 450 W. Pennsylvania Ave., Southern Pines.
Anyone with information about the vandalism is asked to contact the Moore County Sheriff’s Office at 910-947-2931.
This story was originally published on December 4, 2022 at 1:22 pm.