Carteret-Craven Electric Cooperative (CCEC) property near Maysville was damaged by vandals on Friday, November 11. More than 12,000 CCEC members were without power for approximately two hours on Friday because of criminal vandalism.
CCEC monitors its system constantly, and soon after the outage occurred, crews were dispatched to begin the restoration process and found that the Maysville substation had been vandalized. The Maysville substation remains off-line, but CCEC is fully able to serve all of its members through other substations.
The total cost of the damage is unknown at this time, but it is expected to exceed $500,000. CCEC is fully insured and is working closely with insurance investigators.
Jake Joplin, CCEC CEO and general manager, stated, "CCEC condemns this senseless act of vandalism. Those who are responsible for attacking our system should know that CCEC and law enforcement will not rest until they are brought to justice. They must also know that attacking the electrical grid is a serious criminal act. Punishment for this kind of attack can bring state and federal prison time."
Joplin added, "Those who did this should do the right thing and come forward now instead of waiting to get caught. If someone knows anything about this vandalism, I ask them to contact the Jones County sheriff or CCEC."
The vandals damaged transformers and caused them to leak coolant oil. Crews worked quickly to stop the flow of coolant and contain it within the property. With the assistance of an environmental remediation contractor, CCEC has taken steps to ensure that the damage to the transformers does not negatively impact the environment or the public.
CCEC is working closely with the Jones County Sheriff’s Department, who is coordinating with the State Bureau of Investigation, to further the investigation. The co-op is also coordinating with our general counsel, North Carolina Electric Membership Cooperation (NCEMC), Department of Energy (DOE), Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC), and North Carolina Utilities Commission (NCUC) regarding the vandalism and its effect on our electrical system.
Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to contact the Jones County Sheriff’s Department at (252) 448-0035 or CCEC at (252) 247-3107.