One month since Moore County attacks, residents still waiting for answers

Wednesday, January 4, 2023
Moore County grid attack 1 month later
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One month after the power-grid attacks, Moore County residents are still waiting for answers.

PINEHURST, N.C. (WTVD) -- Tuesday marked one month since the power-grid sabotage in Moore County when gun-wielding vandals opened fire on power substations, knocking out power to an estimated 45,000 people.

It took days to get the power restored, and for some, it was nearly a week.

One month later, state, federal and local investigators have not made an arrest in the attack.

Many of the affected residents live in the Village of Pinehurst.

John Strickland, the mayor of Pinehurst, spoke to ABC11 about the mood across Moore County and the fact there seems to be little progress in the investigation.

"Well, I'm sure there is concern about that. But on the other hand, I think our community understands that the SBI, FBI and local sheriff's departments will find those who caused this problem and will be caught at a certain time," Strickland said. "I think we need to be patient for that. I think our residents are patient, and that's really the best way for us to be at this time."

Strickland said the sabotage triggered a sales and profit plunge for most local businesses that before the attack were having a good year.

He praised residents and business owners for their strength, resiliency and patience after a trying month.

We take 'stuff for granted'

Residents, meanwhile are trying to get their lives back to normal.

Brittany Graham was back at work Tuesday night at the Food Lion in Aberdeen.

She couldn't work for a week following the huge power outage in Moore County one month ago.

"We always take stuff for granted. We never know what we have till it's gone. Like the power," said Graham

The mom of three said she feels grateful after what she and countless others endured during several cold and dark nights in December after someone shot up two power substations shutting out electricity for thousands of Moore County families like Graham's.

"It got so cold. I'm like, you know what, we got to go somewhere," Graham reflected.

The family made their way to Moore County's Sports Complex, which was being used as the only emergency shelter in the county during the outage.

"This messed up a lot of people. Think about the kids and the older people," she said.

During the past month, Graham has been working to restore what she's lost.

"I'm slowly getting the food back together that we lost because I threw four trash bags of food away," she said. "It's taking me longer to get it back."

The power grid attack crippled Moore County communities for days. Low-income neighborhoods were some of the hardest hit, including Jackson Terrace Apartments in Carthage, where seniors such as Jean Burchette live. She's on a fixed income.

"It does piss you off when nobody cares," Burchette said. "None whatsoever. And there are people up here that can't get out and go "

Burchette said the power outage was particularly tough for senior citizens.

"We survived, but it was hard," she said. "I mean it was hard because it was cold."