RICHMOND, Va. -- Tens of thousands of people are bracing for days without electricity in a North Carolina county where authorities said two power substations were shot up by one or more people with apparent criminal intent.
Across Moore County southwest of Raleigh on Monday, businesses handed out free food or coffee and businesses without internet conducted transactions in cash.
The FBI is now part of the investigation into what happened.
When Wilbur Peyton heard about the outages, he fired up his portable generators and posted on social media.
"I thought I’d reach out to some of my friends down there, if they needed them, I’d be more than happy to take them to them," Peyton said about the three-hour drive south. "I’ve been without power here in the Matoaca area for 13 days, during Hurricane Isabel. Now there wasn’t the cold factor to deal with.”
Investigators believe the attack on the North Carolina sub-stations began around 7 p.m. Saturday. Moore County Sheriff Ronnie Fields said evidence collected at the scene indicated guns were used to disable the equipment.
Victoria Manley, of Dinwiddie County, called the attack on the power grid concerning.
"I didn’t think that was a thing," she said. "It’s very upsetting and I feel like people need to find better things to do."
Power companies and law enforcement remain on alert for copycat crimes in Virginia.
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