As Power gets turned back on in NC a report of possible sabotage at a hydro plant in SC comes about

  • FBI on South Carolina probe of possible sabotage at electric plant
  • The FBI is investigating gunfire near a South Carolina power plant that occurred just as electricity for tens of thousands in North Carolina was restored
  • We are aware of reports of gunfire near the Wateree Hydro Station in Ridgeway, South Carolina,” a Duke Energy spokesperson said in a statement emailed to Fox News Digital. “No individuals were harmed. There are no outages reported. There is no known property damage at this time.”
  • “We are working closely with the FBI on this issue,” the statement added.
  • Multiple sources told CBS News that an individual pulled up in a truck outside the power plant in Kershaw County around 5:30 p.m. before opening fire. The person used what appeared to be a long gun before speeding away

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Power Outage Update in Moore County North Carolina

Important Takeaways:

  • Moore County: Updates on power outages, resources, investigation
  • Duke Energy’s outage map shows that about 34,000 customers are still without power in Moore County as of 8:30 a.m. Wednesday.
  • In total, about 72% of the more than 47,000 Duke Energy customers served in the county remain without power Wednesday.
  • Duke Energy said Tuesday afternoon that the company “anticipates having nearly all customers restored by 11:59 p.m. Wednesday.”
  • Officials say the investigation into the attack is ongoing, with local, state and federal authorities “working around the clock.” No arrests have been made, and no suspects have been named yet.

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North Caroline substation attacked with gun fire, thousands lose power – State of Emergency declared

North Carolina Shooting Power Outage
  • Mass power outage in North Carolina caused by gunfire, repairs could take days
  • The power outages left at least 40,000 customers without electricity and rendered wastewater pumps out of order across the area. Moore County Sheriff Ronnie Fields said Sunday that someone had “opened fire on the substation, the same thing at the other one.”
  • He said investigators were still working to determine a motive, but he said that the person or persons responsible “knew exactly what they were doing” and that the attack was “targeted.”
  • “It wasn’t random,” Fields said. The incident is being investigated as a criminal act, but Fields could not say Sunday if it rises to the level of domestic terrorism.
  • A state of emergency was in effect Sunday night, and a shelter has opened at the Moore County Sports Complex.

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Storm in Minnesota leaves 75,000 without power

Revelation 16:9 “They were scorched by the fierce heat, and they cursed the name of God who had power over these plagues. They did not repent and give him glory.”

Important Takeaways:

  • Minnesota storms knock out power to 75,000 customers
  • Severe storms knocked out power to as many as 75,000 customers across Minnesota where power poles were toppled and winds gusted as high as 81 mph in the state’s southern region.
  • The largest power outages were west of the Twin Cities and by Wednesday morning service had been restored to about half of those who lost power, according to Xcel Energy.
  • Winds Tuesday night gusted as high as 81 mph near Hector in Renville County in southern Minnesota.

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Power Outages and Triple Digit Temps across the Midwest

Revelation 16:9 “They were scorched by the fierce heat, and they cursed the name of God who had power over these plagues. They did not repent and give him glory.”

Important Takeaways:

  • Triple-digit temps scorch the Midwest, smash a host of records
  • Parts of Chicago reached triple digits for the first time in nearly a decade as extreme heat gripped the midwestern U.S.
  • Chicago Midway Airport reached an AccuWeather RealFeel® Temperature of 104 degrees
  • Louis was one of the cities under an excessive heat warning as temperatures hit 99
  • In Ohio, more than 20,000 households and businesses were without power Wednesday, according to PowerOutage.US, after severe storms ripped through the area
  • In Franklin County, Ohio, home of Columbus, the AccuWeather RealFeel® Temperature reached 108 degrees
  • Power outages were also high in West Virginia Tuesday after Monday night’s storms. Cooling centers were opened in Winfield, West Virginia, just west of Charleston.
  • A new record high temperature was set in Nashville Tuesday when the mercury reached 97 degrees
  • Macon, Georgia, topped out at 104 F

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Aftermath of 7.3 has Millions Facing Power Outage and Cold Temperatures

Luke 21:11” There will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and pestilences. And there will be terrors and great signs from heaven.

Important Takeaways:

  • Earthquake damage, colder weather has millions facing power blackouts in Japan
  • The Tokyo Power Company Holdings, or Tepco, and Japan’s industry ministry said between 2 and 3 million homes could be affected by a power outage because some plants have been offline since the 7.3-magnitude quake on March 16
  • The quake shook Japan, killed at least four people and injured more than 100.

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Ida loses punch, levees hold, but Louisiana expects more rain and flooding

By Devika Krishna Kumar

NEW ORLEANS (Reuters) -Ida lost some of its punch over southwestern Mississippi on Monday after making landfall in Louisiana as one of the most powerful hurricanes to hit the region, but it could still trigger heavy flooding, the National Hurricane Center said.

Ida, the first major hurricane to strike the United States this year, made landfall around noon on Sunday as a Category 4 storm over Port Fourchon, a hub of the Gulf’s offshore oil industry, packing sustained winds of up to 150 miles per hour (240 km per hour).

Although weakened to a tropical storm, heavy downpours could bring life-threatening flooding, the NHC said.

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) administrator Deanne Criswell said the full impact of the storm would become clear later in the day.

“We’re hearing about widespread structural damage,” Criswell said in an interview with CNN. “I don’t think there could have been a worse path for this storm. It’s going to have some significant impacts.”

Federal levees installed to reduce the risk of flooding appeared to have held, according to preliminary reports.

“Daylight will bring horrific images as the damage is assessed. More than 20,000 linemen will work to restore the deeply damaged power lines,” Shauna Sanford, communications director for Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards wrote in a tweet.

“The good news: no federal levee failed or was overtopped.”

Kevin Lepine, president of Plaquemines Parish, home to 23,000 residents and one of Louisiana’s southern most communities, said he had had little sleep overnight as he braced for first light and the chance to go and assess the damage.

“We’re worried about the levees down the road,” he said.

On Sunday night, the sheriff’s office in Ascension Parish reported the first known U.S. fatality from the storm, a 60-year-old man killed by a tree falling on his home near Baton Rouge, the state capital.

President Joe Biden declared a major disaster in the state, ordering federal assistance to bolster recovery efforts in more than two dozen storm-stricken parishes.

Ida crashed ashore as Louisiana was already reeling from a resurgence of COVID-19 infections that has strained the state’s healthcare system, with an estimated 2,450 COVID-19 patients hospitalized statewide, many in intensive care units.

Its arrival came 16 years to the day after Hurricane Katrina, one of the most catastrophic and deadly U.S. storms on record, struck the Gulf Coast, and about a year after the last Category 4 hurricane, Laura, battered Louisiana.

A loss of generator power at the Thibodaux Regional Health System hospital in Lafourche Parish, southwest of New Orleans, forced medical workers to manually assist respirator patients with breathing while they were moved to another floor, the state Health Department confirmed to Reuters.

Within 12 hours of landfall, Ida had plowed a destructive path that submerged much of the state’s coastline under several feet of surf, with flash flooding reported by the National Hurricane Center across southeastern Louisiana.

Nearly all offshore Gulf oil production was suspended in advance of the storm, and major ports along the Louisiana and Mississippi coasts were closed to shipping.

WIDESPREAD OUTAGES

Power was knocked out Sunday night to the entire New Orleans metropolitan area following the failure of all eight transmission lines that deliver electricity to the city, the utility company Entergy Louisiana reported.

One transmission tower collapsed into the Mississippi River, the Jefferson Parish Emergency Management Department said.

More than 1 million Louisiana homes and businesses in all were without electricity early on Monday, as well as some 120,000 in Mississippi, according to the tracking site Poweroutage.US.

Residents of the most vulnerable coastal areas were ordered to evacuate days ahead of the storm. Those riding out the storm in their homes in New Orleans braced for the toughest test yet of major upgrades to a levee system constructed following devastating floods in 2005 from Katrina, a hurricane that claimed some 1,800 lives.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said the newly reinforced New Orleans levees were expected to hold, though they said they said the flood walls could be overtopped in some places.

Hundreds of miles of new levees were built around New Orleans after flooding from Katrina inundated much of the low-lying city, especially historically Black neighborhoods.

Inundation from Ida’s storm surge – high surf driven by the hurricane’s winds – was reported to be exceeding predicted levels of 6 feet (1.8 m) along parts of the coast. Videos posted on social media showed storm surge flooding had transformed sections of Highway 90 along the Louisiana and Mississippi coast into a choppy river.

(Reporting by Devika Krishna Kumar in New Orleans; Additional reporting by Jessica Resnick-Ault and Jonathan Allen in New York, Erwin Seba in Houston, Rich McKay in Atlanta, Laura Sanicola, Linda So and Trevor Hunnicutt in Washington, Liz Hampton in Denver, and Arpan Varghese, Kanishka Singh, Bhargav Acharya and Nakul Iyer in Bengaluru; Writing by Steve Gorman and Maria Caspani; Editing by Richard Pullin and Nick Macfie)

EV rollout will require huge investments in strained U.S. power grids

By Nichola Groom and Tina Bellon

(Reuters) – During several days of brutal cold in Texas, the city of Austin saw its fleet of 12 new electric buses rendered inoperative by a statewide power outage. That problem will be magnified next year, when officials plan to start purchasing electric-powered vehicles exclusively.

The city’s transit agency has budgeted $650 million over 20 years for electric buses and a charging facility for 187 such vehicles. But officials are still trying to solve the dilemma of power interruptions like the Texas freeze.

“Redundancy and resiliency when it comes to power is something we have long understood will be an issue,” said Capitol Metro spokeswoman Jenna Maxfield.

Austin’s predicament highlights the challenges facing governments, utilities and auto manufacturers as they respond to climate change. More electric cars will require both charging infrastructure and much greater electric-grid capacity. Utilities and power generators will have to invest billions of dollars creating that additional capacity while also facing the challenge of replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy sources.

Extreme weather events add additional layers of difficulty.

“Reliability keeps you awake,” California Energy Commission member Siva Gunda said in an interview.

Rolling blackouts during a California heat wave last year prompted the state to direct its utilities to procure emergency generating capacity for this summer and to reform its planning for reserve power.

The state plans an aggressive phase-out of sales of gas- and diesel-powered cars and trucks by 2035 – which, if achieved, would require vast increases in electric grid capacity.

The power and transport sectors combined make up more than half of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. Their simultaneous greening is considered critical for the United States – the world’s second-largest emitter behind China – to meet its obligations under an international accord to address global warming.

The goal is to power electric cars with renewable energy rather than the coal and natural gas that currently dominate the U.S. power supply. To realize that vision, electricity from intermittent sources like wind and solar will need to be stored, probably through battery technology, so that cars can charge overnight or at other times when supply outstrips demand.

DOUBLING POWER CAPACITY

A model utility with two to three million customers would need to invest between $1,700 and $5,800 in grid upgrades per EV through 2030, according to Boston Consulting Group. Assuming 40 million EVs on the road, that investment could reach $200 billion.

So far, investor-owned companies have plans approved for just $2.6 billion in charging programs and projects, according to trade group Edison Electric Institute.

“The electrification of the transportation sector will catch most utilities a little bit off guard,” said Ben Kroposki, director of the Power Systems Engineering Center at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).

The organization estimates that, by 2050, the electrification of transportation and other sectors will require a doubling of U.S. generation capacity.

If not managed carefully, the needed investments could saddle consumers with higher energy bills, according to a report last month by California’s utility regulator. Another challenge: lower-income customers often can’t afford to make the upfront investment in electric cars, home batteries and rooftop solar systems that could save them money in the long term.

‘CHICKEN AND EGG’ PROBLEMS

Utilities are embracing EV sales growth as both a promising new source of revenue and an opportunity to use excess wind and solar power generated at very windy or sunny times when supply exceeds demand.

Investments in both the grid and charging infrastructure that are recovered from ratepayers could add between $3 billion and $10 billion in cumulative cash flow to the average utility through 2030, according to Boston Consulting Group. The forecast also includes potential revenues from new products outside of utilities’ regulated businesses, such as customer fleet routing or charging station maintenance.

The revenue opportunity is still nascent, however, with EVs making up less than 2% of all vehicles registered in the United States. And utilities must invest in infrastructure now for consumers to feel secure in their purchase of an EV, said Emily Fisher, general counsel of utility trade group Edison Electric Institute.

“There is definitely a chicken-and-egg situation with charging infrastructure,” she said.

AUTOMAKERS BET BIG ON EVs

Major U.S. automakers General Motors and Ford have announced large investments in EV development to keep pace with electric-car pioneer Tesla Inc and to prepare for the prospect of tougher emissions regulations. EV share could grow to 15% by 2030, according to U.S. Department of Energy forecasts.

The electricity to power all those cars is expected to come primarily from renewable energy sources and natural gas, according to NREL. Even if natural gas generation increases to support electrified transportation, overall emissions are projected to decline, the organization said.

Large new investments may pose difficulties for utilities already experiencing weather-related problems. In Texas, many of the companies that would be making those investments face a financial crisis stemming from last month’s cold snap. Utilities and power marketers face billions of dollars in blackout-related charges, and several have filed for bankruptcy.

CHARGING UP

Daimler Trucks, the world’s biggest maker of heavy-duty haulers, plans to sell electric vehicles in Europe, North America and Japan by next year. But the company is grappling with how to charge what will one day become hundreds of thousands of battery-powered trucks, said Daimler Trucks chairman Martin Daum.

The need for massive investments in grid infrastructure and charging stations “cannot be underestimated,” Daum said.

Ford Chief Executive Jim Farley last week called on U.S. government leaders to support EV sales with favorable regulation and subsidies for the production of batteries and charging infrastructure.

But Robert Barrosa, senior director at Volkswagen AG’s Electrify America, which is building out fast-charging stations throughout the nation, said the gradual pace of EV adoption will allow utilities to adapt.

“We’re not in a doom-and-gloom situation,” Barrosa said. “We’re not going to 80% battery electric sales overnight…it will be a natural transition.”

Barrosa said U.S. energy consumption decreases over the last 20 years, due to efficiency gains in appliances and the transportation sector, mean that the U.S. power system has enough established capacity to support EV growth without the immediate need for big investments.

Thousands without power in Western Australia after once in a decade storm

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Wild weather downed trees and left tens of thousands of people without power in Western Australia, as emergency services began cleaning up in Perth on Monday after some of the worst weather in a decade.

Wind speeds of up to 132 km/hour (82 mph) were registered at Cape Leeuwin, one of the state’s most south-westerly points early on Monday, the strongest May gusts in 15 years, according to the Australia Broadcasting Corp.

“Some wild weather has affected large parts of WA, causing widespread damage and large scale power outages. Please listen to the advice of emergency services and stay safe everyone,” Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on social media.

Around 50,000 customers were without power on Monday due to storm-related outages, utility Western Power said, as the remnants of Cyclone Mangga hit a cold front and brought squalling rain and emergency level storm warnings to the south of the state.

“New damage from the windborne debris has meant the overall number of impacted homes and businesses remains high,” it said on Twitter.

More than 390 calls for assistance were made to the state’s emergency services since Sunday, mostly from the Perth metropolitan area, the Department of Fire and Emergency Services Chief Superintendent Danny Mosconi told ABC Radio.

Pilbara Ports Authority said port operations in the Pilbara had not been affected, but elevated swell led to some minor shipping schedule changes at the Port of Dampier, which is used by Rio Tinto.

The biggest oil and gas operators in WA, Chevron Corp, Woodside Petroleum and Santos, said there was no impact on their operations in the minerals-rich state.

BHP Group said their was no major impact to its operations. Rio Tinto Ltd declined to comment.

(Reporting by Melanie Burton in Melbourne; Additional reporting by Sonali Paul in Melbourne and Renju Jose in Sydney; Editing by Richard Pullin)

Cyclone kills at least 82 in India, Bangladesh, causes widespread flooding

By Ruma Paul and and Subrata Nagchoudhury

KOLKATA/DHAKA (Reuters) – The most powerful cyclone to strike eastern India and Bangladesh in over a decade killed at least 82 people, officials said, as rescue teams scoured devastated coastal villages, hampered by torn down power lines and flooding over large tracts of land.

Mass evacuations organized by authorities before Cyclone Amphan made landfall undoubtedly saved countless lives, but the full extent of the casualties and damage to property would only be known once communications were restored, officials said.

In the Indian state of West Bengal, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said on Thursday that at least 72 people had perished – most of them either electrocuted or killed by trees uprooted by winds that gusted up to 185 km per hour (115 mph).

In neighboring Bangladesh, the initial toll was put at 10.

“I have never seen such a cyclone in my life. It seemed like the end of the world. All I could do was to pray… Almighty Allah saved us,” Azgar Ali, 49, a resident of Satkhira district on the Bangladesh coast told Reuters.

Mohammad Asaduzzaman, a senior police official in the area said the storm tore off tin roofs, snapped power lines and left many villages inundated.

When the cyclone barrelled in from the Bay of Bengal on Wednesday the storm surge of around five meters resulted in flooding across the low-lying coastal areas.

Reuters Television footage shot in West Bengal showed upturned boats on the shore, people wading through knee-deep water and buses crashed into each other. More images showed villagers trying to lift fallen electricity poles, fishermen hauling their boats out of a choppy sea, and uprooted trees lying strewn across the countryside.

Designated a super cyclone, Amphan has weakened since making landfall. Moving inland through Bangladesh, it was downgraded to a cyclonic storm on Thursday by the Indian weather office. And the storm was expected to subside into a depression later.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi posted a tweet expressing concern over the people suffering in West Bengal.

“Have been seeing visuals from West Bengal on the devastation caused by Cyclone Amphan. In this challenging hour, the entire nation stands in solidarity with West Bengal,” he said.

Concern was growing over flooding in the Sundarbans, an ecologically-fragile region straddling the Indian-Bangladesh border, best known for thick mangrove forests and its tiger reserve.

“The tidal surge submerged some part of the forest,” said Belayet Hossain, a forest official on the Bangladesh side of the forest. “We have seen trees uprooted, the tin-roofs of the guard towers blown off,” he said.

Over on the Indian side of the Sundarbans, a village official said embankments surrounding a low-lying island, where some 5,000 people live, had been washed away, and he had been unable to contact authorities for help.

“We have not been able inform them about anything since last night, the official, Sanjib Sagar, told Reuters.

MASS EVACUATIONS

Authorities in both countries managed to evacuate more than three million people, moving them to storm shelters before Amphan struck. But the evacuation effort was focused on communities that lay directly in the cyclone’s path, leaving villages on the flanks still vulnerable.

The airport in Kolkata, West Bengal’s state capital, lay underwater and several neighborhoods in the city of 14 million people have had no electricity since the storm struck, according to residents.

After the storm passed people were trying to retrieve articles from the rubble of their shops in the city.

Pradip Kumar Dalui, an official in the state’s South 24 Parganas area, said that storm waters breached river embankments in several places, flooding over half a dozen villages, that were home for more than 100,000 people.

Electricity lines and phone connections were down in many places, but so far no deaths had been reported in this area, he said.

The cyclone came at a time when the two countries are battling to stop the spread of the coronavirus, and some evacuees were initially reluctant to leave their homes for fear of possible infection in the packed storm shelters.

 

(Additional reporting by Devjyot Ghoshal in New Delhi, Jatindra Dash in Bhubaneshwar, Writing by Sanjeev Miglani; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)