Sheriff says thousands lost power after three substations targeted in Washington state

Dec 25 (Reuters) – Thousands of residents near Tacoma, Washington, were without power after three electrical substations were vandalized, local officials said on Sunday, adding that it was not yet clear whether the events of Christmas Day were linked. Huh.

The Pierce County Sheriff’s Department said looting was reported at two substations belonging to Tacoma Public Utilities and another substation belonging to Puget Sound Energy. It added that deputies cited forcible entry into the area vandalized with tools, but did not take anything from the sites. Over 14,000 customers affected.

“At this time, deputies are conducting a preliminary investigation. We do not have any suspects in custody. It is unknown if there is a motive or if this was a coordinated attack on the power system,” the department said in a statement on its website. ,

Earlier this month, a utility in North Carolina reported what local officials said was a shooting now being investigated by federal law enforcement.

NBC News and other local media have reported that the FBI is still investigating days after a shooting near a power facility in South Carolina, and whether those two incidents may be related.

Utilities across the country have been hit by a severe cold weather system that swept across the country this week, leaving more than 300,000 without power from the winter storm.

In East Peace County, about 2,700 people served by Tacoma Public Utilities remained affected as of noon Sunday, Tacoma Public Utilities said in a post on Twitter, when an initial 7,300 residents in the area about 45 miles (72 km) south of Seattle were affected. lost power

“We are working to restore power as quickly and safely as possible,” noting that its substations had been “attacked” earlier on Sunday morning and the incidents had been reported to police.

Representatives for Puget Sound Energy could not immediately be reached for comment.

Reporting by Susan Heavey; Editing by Leslie Adler

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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