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Two substations attacked in Washington state, utility says

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(Reuters) – Thousands of residents were without power near Tacoma, Washington, after two electrical substations were attacked, and the incidents have been reported to the police, the local utility company said on Sunday.

“Early this morning, two Tacoma Power substation facilities were attacked in east Pierce county. … Law enforcement has been notified,” Tacoma Public Utilities said in a post on Twitter. The utility gave no other details about the nature of the Christmas Day attack.

About 2,700 people serviced by Tacoma Public Utilities were affected after an initial 7,300 residents lost power in east Pierce County, about 45 miles (72 km) south of Seattle, the company said. “We are working as quickly and safely as possible to restore power,” it said.

Earlier this month, a utility in North Carolina reported outages from what local authorities said were orchestrated shootings now being investigated by federal law enforcement.

The FBI has also been investigating shots fired near a power facility in South Carolina days later, and whether those two incidents could be related, NBC News and other local media have reported.

Utilities nationwide have been strained by a severe cold weather system that swept across the country this week, leaving more than 300,000 without power from the winter storm.