Moore County Schools announces update on closures as power outages continue

After days without power, Leilani Tedtaotao and her son Rowan Allen, 6, take refuge at the First Baptist Church of Pinehurst Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2022 where a N.C. Baptists on Mission disaster relief crew was serving food, washing laundry, offering hot showers and power to charge devices. Two deliberate attacks on electrical substations in Moore County Saturday evening caused days-long power outages for tens of thousands of customers. (Travis Long/tlong@newsobserver.com)

Moore County Schools will be closed for students through at least Thursday due to ongoing, widespread power outages in the county, the school district announced Tuesday.

In an alert on its website and in a Facebook post, the district said schools would be closed to students Wednesday and Thursday. The district said it would determine by 4 p.m. Thursday whether schools would be closed for students on Friday.

The alert said schools would be closed to all staff on Wednesday. The district will announce by 4 p.m. Wednesday whether schools will be closed to staff on Thursday.

More than 34,000 people in Moore County are still without power after two Duke Energy electrical substations in the county were intentionally damaged in an attack Saturday evening.

Duke Energy said Tuesday afternoon that it anticipates having nearly all customers restored by 11:59 p.m. Wednesday, though the company’s outage website still lists the restoration time as 11:45 a.m. Thursday.

Once power is restored, the school district said, it will require 24 hours of notice before it can welcome students back.

“This is due to the impact the outage has had on child nutrition services; specifically our school cafeteria freezers and the need to move food supplies to sites that have electricity. Additionally, the outage continues to impact traffic patterns that make it unsafe to operate school buses,” the district said.

“We continue to work closely with our partners at Duke Energy and appreciate your patience and support as we work through this situation.”