RALEIGH, N.C. — Power will probably not be restored until Thursday in a North Carolina county where unknown gunmen fired at electrical substations, knocking out power for thousands of customers since the weekend, the local power company reported on Tuesday.
Duke Energy said in a message to customers posted on its website that repair efforts are going well and power will likely be restored in Moore County Thursday morning.
“Our technicians continue to work 24-hour shifts and are in time to restore service by early Thursday,” the statement reads.
Nearly 36,000 people are still in the dark, compared with an initial peak of about 45,000, according to poweroutage.us.
Authorities have said the blackouts began shortly after 7 pm Saturday after one or more people went to two substations, tore down the fence and opened fire.
Duke Energy officials have said that the repairs require sophisticated labor and the transfer of equipment from other regions.
The authorities have not yet released a possible motive for the attacks, nor have they specified what type of weapon was used.
Many businesses in the county, 60 miles (95 kilometers) southwest of Raleigh, are closed at a time when they are traditionally crowded due to influx of tourists and holiday shopping. Schools are also closed and many traffic lights do not work.