HUMBOLDT COUNTY, Calif. (KIEM)- The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a potential case of domestic terrorism at the City of Blue Lake.
One of the two water storage tanks that supply water to the Blue Lake community was severely tampered with causing the loss of roughly 400,000 gallons of water. Officials say the act was done with a chainsaw.
“The city lost about 200,00 gallons of water before maintenance even discovered the vandalism. In addition, another 200,00 gallons of water was lost during repairs,” said Samantha Karges, PIO at Humboldt County’s Sheriff Office.
This case has been forwarded to the FBI and Homeland Security for investigation therefore the suspect will be facing federal charges when and if identified.
“We’ve been seeing reports throughout the country of attempted attacks on water systems. It’s a major terrorism threat domestically,” said Karges.
Officials at the Blue Lake City Hall say the water tanks were already elderly and vulnerable to natural disasters.
They are facing a replacement project of two million dollars for both water tanks.
“The redwood in the tanks do have value but the way they’re constructed, they’re not easily accessible. That’s why I don’t believe this was an act of someone trying to steal material or an act of stealing water,” said Amanda Mager, City Manager at Blue Lake City Hall.
The City of Blue Lake is working on offering an award for information that leads to an arrest of the suspects behind this crime. Community members with information are encouraged to reach out to the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office.