TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — The search is on for whoever attacked half a dozen power substations in Florida, some right here in the Tampa Bay area.
Federal documents reveal a string of attacks in the weeks surrounding Hurricane Ian. 8 On Your Side Investigator Mahsa Saeidi spoke with residents who lost power.
There were two attacks in Tampa. Although the power was out for just a few minutes, security experts said the perpetrators likely have inside knowledge, which is very risky.
Right now, federal officials, along with Duke Energy, are actively investigating half a dozen attacks at power substations. The attacks all happened in September, in Florida at Duke Energy sites.
Federal documents reveal, the perpetrators forced entry into substations — the hubs that transmit electricity into your home — and locked out equipment, causing an outage.
According to a memo obtained by NewsNation, federal officials say the suspects likely have inside knowledge and know how to shut down equipment without causing damage.
8 On Your Side spoke with more than a dozen neighbors in Largo. They were all in the dark about the attacks.
“I never would have thought that,” said Sandy Barrow. “There would have to be cameras at these places where it was shut off, so they could see who did it.”
There are new surveillance cameras and guards, according to Duke Energy. The power giant says they are “continuously assessing and evolving our measures to protect our critical infrastructure.”
However, the attacks remain unsolved.
The two Tampa Bay area substations are 50 miles apart. The attacks happened back to back on two consecutive days on September 21 and 22.