ASHEBORO — Over the weekend, vandals shot up substations in Moore County, leaving some 40,000 people without electricity; towns, restaurants and businesses without power or working stoplights; and much of the area under curfew.
But the damage affected a Randolph County power supplier, too.
On Saturday, Duke Energy alerted Randolph Electric Membership Corporation (REMC) of a transmission line failure. Outages impacted at least 2,650 REMC members in the Eastwood, Seven Lakes, West End and Carthage areas of its service territory.
REMC said on Sunday that a multi-day outage was to be expected. REMC reported no vandalism to any of its substations. Nonetheless, the transmis-sion line failure meant that REMC distribution lines could not provide power through normal delivery processes. So REMC workers had to build two tie lines of electric distribution. Both of the tie lines were slated for construction in REMC’s work plan already, but the outage accelerated the necessity of moving up the projects.
REMC called in all crews and acquired additional contractor crews to complete the construction work as quickly as possible. Crews worked to upgrade one pre-existing tie line from single-phase to a three-phase power supply to accommodate higher volt-age loads. The other tie line as new construction. Crews changed out and erected a large number of poles to cover almost three miles of territory in the fast-moving project. The new tie lines will allow REMC to back feed power to areas where members are experiencing an outage.
REMC anticipated the work could take until Wednesday to restore most of its impacted members, though some may have had power restored earlier. REMC updates the public and its members through direct email to members, social media announcements and its mobile app regarding the outage.
Anyone with information regarding the attacks is asked to contact the Moore County Sheriff’s Department at 910-947-2931.