GRAHAM, Wash. — After over 14,000 people in Pierce County celebrated Christmas in the dark, Tacoma Public Utilities restored power to their substations on Monday afternoon.
1/2 All our customers are back online after the intentional damage to our system yesterday. We appreciate everyone’s patience while our crews worked overnight and into this afternoon on restoration. We were able to deploy a mobile substation to restore power. pic.twitter.com/wloRkJwE3K— Tacoma Public Utilities (@MyTPU) December 26, 2022
The Sheriff’s Department says four utility substations were vandalized early Sunday morning.
“I woke up and the power was out,” said Thomas Morisada.
“We live right over there off of 224th and we lost power. Actually it’s kind of been sporadic, it was off pretty much when everyone woke up and then it came back around, maybe two hours ago for like literally 10 seconds, and then it went off, and then her mom lives down off 94th Avenue other there and the same thing happened to them too,” said Isaiah Williams.
The Safeway on the corner of 224th and Meridian was running on a backup generator.
“A lot of lights are out, they are not selling any refrigerated items, no frozen items,” said Morisada.
The Pierce County Sheriff’s Department says just before 5:30 a.m. on Sunday they received a call of a burglary to the Tacoma Public Utilities Substation off 46th Avenue in Graham.
“When the deputies got there, there was nobody on scene, but they saw that the fence area had been broken into. In this one, the suspects cut one of the lock on the fenced area, made their way inside, and caused damage to the substation,” said Sgt. Darren Moss Jr., spokesperson with the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department.
Shortly after the sheriff’s department was notified, the substation off 224th Street was also vandalized. Deputies called Puget Sound Energy, which also provides power in the area, and they confirmed that their substation off 144th Street was also hit.
“All three happened in the middle of the night, on Christmas day causing power outages, nothing was stolen in those facilities, so it’s a good possibility they are related,” said Moss.
“If I had to talk to those people, I’d just say, ‘C’mon, it’s Christmas. Why you gonna do that to people?’” said Morisada.
As of now, they don’t have any suspect leads, and are asking folks who live near the three substations to check their security cameras for any suspicious activity between the hours of 2 a.m. and 6 a.m.
On Sunday night, a fourth power station was attacked in Pierce County. When crews arrived at the scene at about 7:30 p.m., it was on fire.
The substation is located on the Kapowsin Highway near Graham where it left more than 500 people in the area without power.
The cause was reported as vandalism.
Sgt. Moss says deputies will be monitoring all substations.
If you have any information, you are urged to give the sheriff’s department a call.
©2022 Cox Media Group