Thousands lose power after three substations targeted in Washington state, sheriff says

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(Reuters) – Thousands of residents lost power in a Tacoma, Wash., suburb after three substations were destroyed, local officials said Sunday, whether the Christmas Day incident was connected. It’s not clear yet, he added.

The Pierce County Sheriff’s Department said robberies were reported at two substations belonging to Tacoma Public Utility and another substation belonging to Puget Sound Energy. A representative cited forced entry into a fenced area and said equipment was destroyed but nothing was removed from the site.More than 14,000 customers were affected.

“At this time, agents are conducting an initial investigation. There are no suspects in custody. It is unclear whether there was a motive or whether this was a coordinated attack on the power system,” the State Department said. A statement on the website states: .

Earlier this month, a North Carolina utility reported a suspension from what local officials said was a systematic shooting that is currently being investigated by federal law enforcement.

The FBI is also investigating a shooting that occurred near a power facility in South Carolina just days later, and whether the two incidents may be related, NBC News and other local media outlets have reported. are reporting.

Utilities across the country have been strained by the severe cold system that swept across the country this week, with more than 300,000 people without power due to winter storms.

In eastern Peace County, about 2,700 people served by Tacoma Utilities were affected at noon Sunday after power outages hit the first 7,300 residents in an area about 45 miles (72 km) south of Seattle. It will remain, Tacoma Utilities said in a post on Twitter.

“We are working as quickly and safely as possible to restore power,” he said, noting that the substation was “attacked” early Sunday morning and the incident was reported to police.

A representative for Puget Sound Energy was not immediately available for comment.

Reported by Susan Heavey.Edited by Leslie Adler

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