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NC Power Outage: Top questions answered about Moore County attack on energy grid

Officials give an update in Moore County after a widespread power outage leaves thousands in the dark.

PINEHURST, N.C. — Tens of thousands are still in the dark Monday after an attack on North Carolina's power grid.

During a press conference Tuesday, Moore County officials said a curfew is still in effect from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

Moore County Schools will be closed on Wednesday, Dec. 7 for students and staff. Thursday, Dec. 8 the schools will still be closed to students but open to staff. On Friday, the school district is hoping to return to normal operating hours. An emergency order is still in place. 

It could be days for the power to be restored in Moore County, northwest of Fayetteville.

Investigators, including the FBI, are still trying to find who targeted two energy stations.

As the investigation continues, WFMY News 2's Grace Holland tackled the top five questions about the attack.

What happened? 

After learning more about the extent of that damage, Duke Energy said two substations were damaged by gunfire, putting a heavy strain on the other substations which made the outage even more widespread.

Surviving a cold night 

Families are prepared for another cold night. The Kennedy family is using their fireplace to keep warm and their gas stove to cook meals and trying to help out neighbors.

“We have been around the neighborhood checking on some elderly folks that probably need help and just doing some welfare checks but for the most part we've been very fortunate we're cooking through whatever we have in the fridge that's going bad right now,” Moore County resident, Brian Kennedy expressed. 

How much longer?

We also are learning more about how repairs are going. Some lights have already come back on. 

On Tuesday, Duke Energy officials said most folks will have power restored by late Wednesday evening. 

Duke Energy said for others, it could take until Thursday. Spokesman Jeff Brooks said some of the damaged equipment was able to be repaired but some has to be replaced. 

“We are working to get the equipment we need here and get it in position. Understand that it's not as easy as changing a lightbulb as it were. Some of this equipment does require a lot of work in process to get it in safely,” Jeff Brooks with Duke Energy clarified. 

Impacts on the Triad

We wanted to know if the power grid attack is affecting local electric companies in the Triad. A few thousand Randolph EMC customers in Moore County did lose power because of this.

They say the outage is not affecting their customers in Randolph, Davidson, or Alamance Counties but all of their crews are focused on restoring power in Moore County and protecting their grid.

“I know that what you're hearing is very scary and seems unsettling," Nicole Arnold, Randolph EMC communications and public affairs manager stated. "We want you to know that you've got power and we're gonna make sure that that stays on and boy we're watching it like a hawk. You don't have to worry about that," Nicole Arnold, Randolph EMC communications and public affairs manager stated.

Why the energy grids?

You're also asking about a motive in this case and whether this was an act of domestic terrorism. we do know that the SBI and FBI are investigating.

Federal agents say it's too early to determine a motive and there are specific criteria this act would need to meet to be considered terrorism. At this point, all investigators are saying is that they do believe this was done intentionally.

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