Vandals take down Arkansas Electric Grid–
Crazy leftists, no doubt.

Power grid

There have been three recent acts of sabotage on the Arkansas power grid, causing damage to the system and outages for thousands of residents.  The most recent attack was on Sunday when two electrical poles were cut, then pulled down with a tractor.  In August, the vandals connected a cable to a transmission tower, then ran it across train tracks, intending for the next train to pull down the 100-foot tower.  Also, a major transition line was cut.  In September, a substation control house was set on fire, and the vandals left behind a message reading, “You should have expected us.”

No suspects have been identified and the FBI and the ATF are offering a $25,000 reward for information.

Forbes reported:

More than 10,000 people in Arkansas were dumped into a blackout Sunday following an attack on that state’s electric grid, the FBI said today, the third such attack in recent weeks. In August, a major transmission line in the region, around Cabot, Ark., was deliberately cut.

The FBI said that two power poles had been intentionally cut in Lonoke County on Sunday, resulting in the outage.

“Though we remain confident that we will identify the person or persons responsible for these incidents,” the FBI said in a press release, “we are enlisting the public’s help to be our eyes and ears. We take threats to our power grid very seriously.”

The FBI said it would pay a $25,000 reward for information about the attacks.

And for good reason. The FBI suspects these attacks are linked with a third incident in September.

According to the FBI:

In the early morning hours of September 29, 2013, officials with Entergy Arkansas reported a fire at its Keo substation located on Arkansas Highway 165 between Scott and England in Lonoke County. Fortunately, there were no injuries and no reported power outages. Investigation has determined that the fire, which consumed the control house at the substation, was intentionally set. The person or persons responsible for this incident inscribed a message on a metal control panel outside the substation which reads, ‘YOU SHOULD HAVE EXPECTED U.S.’

In August, a person or group of people attached a cable to the framework of a 100-foot electric transmission tower and placed the cable across the railroad track in an apparent attempt to use a moving train to pull down the tower.

While the electric power industry has expressed concerns about cybersecurity, the recent spate of attacks in Arkansas suggests that the electric power grid is equally if not more vulnerable to physical acts of sabotage. …

An update from Forbes has more:

This evening, the FBI released additional details regarding yesterday’s attack on the electric grid in central Arkansas.  According to the FBI’s press release:

The person or persons responsible for this incident took a tractor that had been parked inside a fenced area at the intersection of Poston Road and John Shelton Road . . . and drove it through a locked cattle gate. We believe the person or persons drove the tractor south on John Shelton Road, then turned west on either Billy Lane or Phillips Road, then drove the tractor off road at County Road 466 and Phillips Road, following the cleared area of the power line to the wooded area where the poles are located. Our investigation has determined that this tractor was utilized to pull down one of the poles after the poles were cut.

Sky-Trim-300x200

This is a SkyTrim tractor, similar to the one used to pull down the electrical poles.  Forbes describes it as,

“a rough terrain, rubber-tired vehicle with telescoping boom and saw-type cutter head designed to trim trees.”

The SkyTrim is used for vegetation management by utilities in rough terrain.

It appears that the culprit was able to commandeer the local utility’s (or owner of the transmission system) equipment to pull down the utility poles.

The FBI believes the vandals are familiar with the system, location and function of equipment, and knowledgable of system vulnerabilities.

 

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