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North Carolina power grid attack fosters community in Moore County

Residents help out to keep Moore County folks warm and fed

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Elowyn Hoelscher, 7, stands in line at a food truck with her mother, Erika Hoelscher, on Dec. 5, 2022, in Southern Pines, N.C

Elowyn Hoelscher, 7, stands in line at a food truck with her mother, Erika Hoelscher, at Red’s Corner during the Moore County power outage on Monday, Dec. 5, 2022, in Southern Pines, N.C. Tens of thousands of people are bracing for days without electricity in Moore County where authorities say two power substations were shot up by one or more people with apparent criminal intent.

Kaitlin McKeown, The News & Observer via Associated Press

While Moore County officials still work to find suspects in an attack on the power grid, citizens are reaching out and opening shelters to offer refuge from the cold, in addition to other North Carolina state and county efforts.

On Saturday evening, the Moore County power grid was damaged, leaving tens of thousands of citizens without power.

Lots of equipment will need to be replaced and it will take time to repair, Duke Energy spokesperson Jeff Brooks told CNN.

“It’s not as simple as changing a light bulb,” he told a local newspaper, the Pilot of Southern Pines.

Officials are working with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, but still have not announced any leads.

A state of emergency was called and shelters were put in place to help citizens cope with the power outage.

While critical infrastructure such as sewer and water continues and the local hospital is open with the help of generators, per the Pilot, homes without generators are cold and electric cooking became impossible.

The owner of a local brewery called the Southern Pines Growler Company offered a warm place for people to gather, charge phones and eat, per The New York Times.

Owner Gerald Bateman told CNN that he makes several trips to buy fuel to keep the generator running and is open to the public from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day.

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Tom Markey, an employee at Betsy’s Crepes, sits next to power cords supplying a generator inside the restaurant on Monday, Dec. 5, 2022, in Southern Pines, N.C. Tens of thousands of people are bracing for days without electricity in Moore County where authorities say two power substations were shot up by one or more people with apparent criminal intent.

Kaitlin McKeown, The News & Observer via Associated Press

Gail Clark’s neighbor in Southern Pines offered her a ride to a makeshift shelter because Clark’s car was stuck behind an electric garage door. Once there, she distributed coffee cake and other goods to everyone, NPR reported.

Residents across the county are doing their best to help each other in any way they can.

As of Monday afternoon, power had been restored to 7,000 electric customers, per The New York Times, and more households are expected to get power back throughout the next few days.