By Iclal Turan
WASHINGTON (AA) - Damage to electrical substations in North Carolina, which have caused widespread power outages for thousands of residents, “appears to have been deliberate," US Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said Monday, citing “early evidence.”
“We are working with energy companies and local communities to address the situation impacting the power that reaches homes in the targeted neighborhoods,” Mayorkas told a panel at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington.
He cited evidence suggesting the damage was “deliberate” but added that an investigation is still underway.
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said they are monitoring the power outages in North Carolina and are in contact with local officials.
“Local law enforcement is receiving federal support on the investigation. We will continue to let that investigation play out,” she told reporters during a press briefing.
The mass outages in Moore County left around 40,000 residents in the dark Saturday night after two power substations were damaged by gunfire, according to local authorities.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation have joined the probe into the outages.
The authorities are yet to announce the suspects or motive behind the attacks.