Authorities were investigating widespread power outages in south-central North Carolina overnight as intentional criminal acts, the sheriff of Moore County said in a statement late Saturday.
An estimated 45,000 customers were without electricity late Saturday, with no estimate on a restoration time because a number of facilities are involved and the work will be complicated, said Jeff Brooks, a spokesperson for utility Duke Energy.
Utility company Duke Energy said nearly 38,000 customers were without power in Moore County, while the Randolph Electric Membership Corporation reported outages affected nearly 3,000 customers in the county’s southern area, WRAL-TV reported.
Both Moore County Sheriff Ronnie Fields and Brooks report that the potential cause of the outages could be vandalism. Brooks said he could not further describe the nature of the possible crime.
Get New England news, weather forecasts and entertainment stories to your inbox. Sign up for NECN newsletters.
Sewer lift stations were also out of order and authorities advised residents to stay off the roads. “There are multiple accidents that have occurred,” Southern Pines administration said in a statement on Facebook.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.