Officials confirmed that a fourth electrical substation in Washington state was found vandalized on Christmas Day, this coming after three others were attacked earlier in the day which left thousands without power. According to the Pierce County Sheriff’s Office, the vandals broke into a fenced area and destroyed equipment at the substation which caused a fire. First responders put out the fire and power was later restored, but as of press time officials say that no suspects have been taken into custody.
Earlier on Christmas Day, thousands of residents woke up with no power after three other substations were vandalized in the early morning hours. The first substation was vandalized at about 5:30 a.m. Sunday followed by a second substation, according to Tacoma Public Utilities. Meanwhile, Puget Sound Energy reported vandalism that had happened at about 2:30 a.m. Sunday caused a power outage at one of its substations. Roughly 7,700 customers lost power, but had it restored by 5 a.m.
After the latest act of vandalism, it was reported that more than 10,500 Puget Sound Energy customers were without electricity across the region as of Monday morning. In all four cases, the sheriff’s office says someone forced their way into the fenced area surrounding the substations and damaged equipment to cause a power outage. However, it remains unclear at this time if all four instances are connected.
Several power stations have been attacked in Washington and Oregon in the last month. The attacks come as federal officials are warning that the U.S. power grid needs better security to prevent domestic terrorism, particularly after two substations were taken out by gunfire in North Carolina earlier this month leaving 40,000 people without electricity.
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