North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper speaks at the Carole Hoefener Center in Charlotte, N.C. on July 21. He called an attack on substations in the state on Sunday an act of domestic terrorism. File Photo by Grant Baldwin/UPI | License Photo
Dec. 6 (UPI) -- North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said that the damage done to two substations on Sunday that left an entire county in the dark was a deliberate act. Duke Energy said it will take until Thursday to get everyone back online.
In a statement Monday, Duke said that so much damage occurred at the substations that making repairs was not enough to restore power. Some 38,000 remained without power in Moore County on Monday, officials said.
"We are restoring customers where possible, but the damage is beyond repair in some areas," Jason Hollifield, Duke Energy's general manager for emergency preparedness, said in a statement.
"That leaves us with no option but to replace large pieces of equipment -- which is not an easy or quick task. Duke Energy is committed to getting life back to normal for our customers. We thank them for their patience."
Cooper called the damage an act of domestic terrorism as the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation and Moore County Sheriff Ronnie Fields continue to investigate. Fields said he believes the suspects knew what they were doing in attacking the substations.
"This type of violence and sabotage will not be tolerated in North Carolina," Cooper said on Twitter Tuesday. "Law enforcement is working diligently to find who committed this atrocious act. In the meantime, we're making sure that people are safe and warm and we've committed significant resources from the state to ensure people have what they need."
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said he believed the act was deliberate as the FBI got involved in the investigation.
"We are working with energy companies in local communities to address the situation impacting the power that reaches homes in the targeted neighborhoods," Mayorkas said. "The question is, is it an act of malfeasance or otherwise? Early evidence suggests that it was deliberate. And the investigation is underway."