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Thousands in Moore County, N.C., still lack power after an attack damaged substations

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Whoever opened fire on the power grid in North Carolina last weekend drove some people out of their homes. Nick de la Canal of our member station WFAE met some of them.

NICK DE LA CANAL, BYLINE: A conference room at the Southern Pines Police Department has become a makeshift shelter here. Gail Clark says it's better than her house.

GAIL CLARK: You can't cook. You can't turn on your TV. You can't turn on a light. I don't want to take a shower because it's freezing cold in my house.

DE LA CANAL: Families at the shelter huddle around wall outlets, charging electronic as they warm themselves. Clark is the self-appointed caretaker.

CLARK: I brought some crackers and jelly and coffee cake. And I have cocoa.

DE LA CANAL: She said she considers herself lucky compared to others in the county.

CLARK: We had people here last night who were charging some kind of battery packs for their sister, who's on some kind of heart-lung machine at home and isn't going to survive without power.

DE LA CANAL: Traffic lights remain dark across the county. Most gas stations are shut down. The local hospital is running on generators. At a news conference, Governor Roy Cooper said federal and state investigators are determined to uncover who carried out the attack.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

ROY COOPER: Regardless of motive, violence and sabotage will not be tolerated.

DE LA CANAL: A spokesman for the local utility company said most residents will have to wait until Wednesday or Thursday for power to be restored. For some, that could mean dangerously low temperatures ahead. Sedarius Quick (ph) doesn't want to spend another freezing night at home with his 1-year-old son.

SEDARIUS QUICK: Last night, it kind of broke me because he got below temperature, below freezing. And I can't have my son out in the cold.

DE LA CANAL: Many people left the county to stay with family, friends or at hotels. But he and his son hitched a ride to a different shelter. He's trying to buy a generator if he can find one.

QUICK: I'm hoping that works out.

DE LA CANAL: Yeah.

QUICK: That's what I'm hoping on.

DE LA CANAL: If all else fails, says Quick, they're back to the shelter.

For NPR News, I'm Nick de la Canal in Southern Pines, N.C. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.