Gunfire disabled NC power substation 3 weeks before Moore County attack, FBI now says

·2 min read
Travis Long/

The FBI says that a power substation disabled in Eastern North Carolina last November was damaged by gunfire, three weeks before similar attacks caused a massive outage in Moore County.

The FBI is offering a $25,000 reward for information about the attack on the Carteret-Craven Electric Cooperative substation outside Maysville in Jones County. It marks the first time the FBI has acknowledged that it is investigating the incident.

The substation was damaged on Nov. 11, shutting down electricity to about 12,000 homes and businesses for about two hours.

At the time, the electric cooperative described the incident as “vandalism.” The company said someone had damaged transformers, causing them to leak coolant oil, but declined to say how.

The FBI now says that in the early morning hours of Nov. 11 someone “fired multiple shots” at the substation on an isolated stretch of N.C. 58 about five miles outside Maysville. The station is surrounded by a chain-link fence topped with barbed wire and can’t be seen from any homes or businesses.

Someone also fired guns into two Duke Energy substations in different parts of Moore County on the evening of Dec. 3, knocking out power to more than 45,000 homes and businesses. It took several days for power to be fully restored there.

And on Jan. 17, an EnergyUnited substation in the Randolph County portion of Thomasville was hit by multiple gunshots, though the company says no customers lost power.

No arrests have been made in any of the attacks, said FBI spokeswoman Shelley Lynch. The FBI is not releasing details about the incidents, including the weapons used.

In February, the FBI offered $25,000 rewards for information leading to arrests and convictions for the Moore and Randolph county attacks.

The FBI posted a $25,000 reward in the Jones County case late last week. It encouraged anyone with information to call its tipline at 1-800-225-5324 or the Jones County Sheriff’s Office at 252-448-0035.