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Power substations at the Duke Energy West End location in Moore County, N.C., were damaged in an attack that left tens of thousands of people without electricity. Click the headline to see more articles about the attack and recovery.

Moore County medical facilities dealing with blackout after substation attack

Hospital bed
Nick de la Canal
Moore Regional Hospital kept lights and equipment running with generators when power was knocked out in Moore County, North Carolina, on Dec. 3, 2022.

Tens of thousands of customers in Moore County are still without power after someone shot critical equipment at two substations over the weekend — and many medical facilities throughout the county are closed.

While businesses and homes wait for lights to come back on, Moore Regional Hospital says its doors remain open and ready for patients. The hospital was running on backup power after the attack.

Using generators for power and dealing with downed internet feels a little bit like the hospital is experiencing a winter storm or a hurricane, the kind of event it prepares for.

But with the power out until Thursday for many, Jonathan Davis, the chief operating officer for FirstHealth of the Carolinas and the president of Moore Regional Hospital, says the hospital has also been serving as a charging station for people who need to power life-saving devices.

"We set up an area for patients to charge their medical devices on Sunday," Davis said.

Davis credits a county curfew with keeping people off the roads, resulting in fewer car crash victims that would normally end up in the emergency room.

But there was a surge of patients Monday as many urgent care centers and primary care offices remain without power. FirstHealth primary care, specialty and urgent care clinics throughout Moore County are closed and will remain so until power is restored.

Davis expects more patients to seek refuge and medical care at the hospital in the coming days.

"I do believe day by day as it goes on there will be a growing number of people that have tried to weather the storm so to speak without power," Davis said. "And we know they will likely need our help."

The hospital has postponed elective surgeries and is encouraging those with non-emergency needs to drive to urgent care centers in the surrounding areas with power.

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Sarah Delia is a Senior Producer for Charlotte Talks with Mike Collins. Sarah joined the WFAE news team in 2014. An Edward R. Murrow Award-winning journalist, Sarah has lived and told stories from Maine, New York, Indiana, Alabama, Virginia and North Carolina. Sarah received her B.A. in English and Art history from James Madison University, where she began her broadcast career at college radio station WXJM. Sarah has interned and worked at NPR in Washington DC, interned and freelanced for WNYC, and attended the Salt Institute for Radio Documentary Studies.