Substation Attacks Leave 15K Washington Homes Without Power On Christmas

After vandals destroyed four substations in Washington State, more than 15,000 homes lost power on Christmas Day.

According to Puget Sound Energy, the attacks started at 2:30 a.m. Pacific Time on Sunday. Three attacks took place in the early morning hours. A fourth attack was reported on Christmas night.

According to a statement by the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department, KUOW-TV reported that “It is not known if there are motives or if it was a coordinated attack against the power systems.”

Sgt. Darren Moss, Pierce County Sheriff’s Department, refuted calling the incidents “attacks.”

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Moss stated that there is nothing yet to indicate that this was a terrorist attack.

“At this stage, we believe that their goal was to cut off the power. He said that the reasons are still unknown.

At 2:30 a.m., the first attack on power in Puyallup county was stopped. It was then restored at 5 a.m. The second incident occurred at 5:12 AM and seems to have been the same person or group.

According to the report, the locks at the first substations were cut in order to gain entry. In the third incident, the fence was broken. It was not clear how access would be made in the fourth incident.

According to reports, each substation has a camera and chain-link fencing. No suspects have been arrested or identified as the investigation continues.

This attack isn’t the first on substations that have been affected in recent years. According to the Seattle Times, Bonneville Power Administration (BPA), Puget Sound Energy and Cowlitz County Public Utility District confirmed that their substations were targeted in November.

Douglas Johnson, a spokesperson for BPA, stated that there was a “deliberate physically attack” at Clackamas substation, Oregon, during Thanksgiving. This attack involved someone breaking a fence or damaging equipment.

Johnson said that BPA is cooperating with FBI in this incident. He also encouraged other utilities to be more vigilant and report suspicious or similar activity to law enforcement.

It is not clear if the attacks of the past are connected to the recent incidents on Christmas Day.

The Daily Wire reported in December that a substation attack caused by vandalism knocked out power to over 40,000 people.

The incident, which occurred in Moore County about 70 miles southwest Raleigh, is being investigated by local authorities as a crime.

Moore County Sheriff Ronnie Fields reported that the massive power outage in the county was being investigated as criminal.

It stated that power outages began in Moore County just after 7 p.m. on Saturday, December 3, 2022. “As utilities companies responded to different substations, evidence was found that suggested that intentional vandalism had taken place at multiple locations.”

These incidents also occurred as the Department of Homeland Security warned of recent threats to the nation’s electrical infrastructure. “National Terrorism Advisory System Bulletin,” Homeland Security, warned last month that individuals with personal grievances “continued to pose a persistent threat to the Homeland.”