SEE IT: Thousands lose power after four Washington substations targeted on Christmas

Power Outage Vandalism
A Tacoma Power crew works at an electrical substation damaged by vandals early on Christmas morning, Sunday, Dec. 25, 2022 in Graham, Wa. (Ken Lambert/The Seattle Times via AP) Ken Lambert/AP

SEE IT: Thousands lose power after four Washington substations targeted on Christmas

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Four power substations in Washington state were targeted on Christmas day, causing thousands of people to lose electricity.

According to the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department, the first three locations had been forcibly entered, and all four had been vandalized. As a result of the initial three instances, 14,000 people were affected by power outages.

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The first incident took place at 2:39 a.m. at a Puget Sound Energy facility. However, authorities were not notified until 11:25 a.m. At 5:26 a.m., police were alerted to a burglary at the Tacoma Public Utilities Substation. Later, they were informed of another attack, this time on the TPU substation.

https://twitter.com/PierceSheriff/status/1607116437147250689?s=20&t=z4QIjX7j0XtBrLo3UkwCjA

It was not until 7:21 p.m. that the department received a call about a fire at the Kapowsin Substation. It’s unknown how many additional customers were affected by power outages, but authorities said “power was knocked out for homes in Kapowsin and Graham.” The fire started as a result of vandalism to equipment.

https://twitter.com/PierceSheriff/status/1607278635781849089?s=20&t=z4QIjX7j0XtBrLo3UkwCjA

Police said that power has since been restored to most of the affected homes.

No suspects are in custody for any of the burglaries, and authorities are requesting that people report suspicious activity or people near power facilities.

A 2022 report by the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Intelligence and Analysis revealed that some domestic extremists “have developed credible, specific plans to attack electricity infrastructure since at least 2020.”

The report further states that people “adhering to a range of ideologies will likely continue to plot and encourage physical attacks against electrical infrastructure.”

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However, the large and decentralized nature of the United States’s grid makes widespread outages unlikely.

It is unknown whether the Christmas day substation vandalism attacks were perpetrated by the same people or if they were meant as an assault on the power grid.

© 2022 Washington Examiner

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