kirisutogomen: (lifeboat)
[personal profile] kirisutogomen
(some wording lifted without attribution from various sources cited below)

On April 16, 2013, one or more vandals/saboteurs/terrorists/soldiers vandalized/damaged/attacked the PG&E Metcalf transmission substation. The incident/attack/operation started at 0100/1:00 AM/in the middle of the night when the vandals/saboteurs/terrorists/mysterious attackers entered two different manholes/slipped into an underground vault and broke/cut/severed underground fiberoptic cables, knocking out some phone lines/cutting off local 911 and landline service plus some cell phone service/simultaneously disabling multiple communications and security systems. Shortly/half an hour/30 minutes later, the people/intruder(s)/attackers then shot at/opened fire on/surgically assaulted the substation itself.

The shooters damaged some transformers and put some holes in a transformer bank. Cooling fluid leaked through the holes and one transformer array automatically shut down in response. There was no long-term damage, no major power outages, and no injuries were reported. Metcalf is one of over 1500 substations in PG&E's network.

The sniper(s) fired more than 100 rounds from high-power rifle(s), disabling the cooling systems on several transformer banks and some individual extra-large transformers. Electric-grid officials were forced to conduct emergency re-routing of power. It took utility workers 27 days to rescue the substation from the aftereffects of the attack.

Police arrived at 1:50 am, but no one was arrested/before police could respond, the shooters disappeared into the night.

California Rep. Henry Waxman (D), ranking member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, mentioned the incident at a hearing on regulatory issues/called it "an unprecedented and sophisticated attack on an electric grid substation with military-style weapons."

Incident was April 16, 2013. Reporting:

December 27, 2013 Foreign Policy: "'Military-Style' Raid on California Power Station Spooks U.S."

December 29, 2013 Crooks and Liars: "FBI Investigating ‘Military-Style’ Attack On California Power Plant"

Feburary 5, 2014 Wall Street Journal: "Assault on California Power Station Raises Alarm on Potential for Terrorism"

February 5, 2014 The Atlantic: "Snipers Coordinated an Attack on the Power Grid, but Why?"

February 5, 2014 NPR: "Sniper Attack On California Power Station Raises Terrorism Fears"

February 6, 2014 IEEE Spectrum: "Attack on California Substation Fuels Grid Security Debate"

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