GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – After vandals caused a massive power outage that affected 38,000 homes and businesses in North Carolina, Local 5 News caught up with Wisconsin Public Service (WPS) to see if a similar incident could happen in Green Bay.
Officials report that two North Carolina substations were damaged by gunfire on Saturday and that a possible motive wasn’t clear.
“From our standpoint, we focus on security each and every day,” said Wisconsin Public Service Spokesperson Matt Cullen. “This is a situation that we could never assume would not happen here, and that’s why we have to continue to focus on security each and every day.”
Cullen explained that WPS has high levels of security that are in place at substations, and the company takes robust security measures with all facilities and equipment.
“We do regularly train for and practice our response to situations that may impact our ability to deliver the affordable, reliable, and clean energy that our customers depend on,” said Cullen. “We are aware that there may be certain circumstances or events that could impact our ability to provide the services that our customers depend on us for, which again goes back to that high level of focus that we have.”
Wisconsin Public Service says they regularly work with law enforcement and other utility companies at the local and state levels to share information on potential threats that could impact the ability to provide services.
“These types of crimes are significant, and the penalties for them are severe, so in addition to us continuing to focus each and every day around the clock on having those security measures in place, that’s where also you have the law enforcement aspect of this as well, and people should be aware that this is a significant crime,” concluded Cullen.
Sheriff Ronnie Fields said the mass power outage was being investigated as a “criminal occurrence.” The FBI is assisting in the investigation.