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9 Investigates: Duke Energy steps up security after Moore County power grid attack

Channel 9 has learned new details one month after someone shot up two substations in Moore County, knocking out power for thousands of people.

No arrests have been made, but we’ve learned Duke Energy has stepped up security since the attack.

Investigative reporter Madison Carter has been reaching out to Duke for weeks about it. After the attack, she immediately started looking into whether Duke had taken steps to protect families’ power.

After about a month of back and forth, she was able to get some answers.

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Spokesperson Jeff Brooks said Duke Energy has made some initial security upgrades to its Moore County substations after the attack on Dec. 3. Brooks said Duke continues to evaluate how to strengthen its entire grid.

“Not just from a physical protection standpoint, but also continuing to improve our monitoring, our ability to respond,” he said.

One of the questions Carter has been trying to get answered is whether Duke was prepared for something like this to happen in the first place. She asked Brooks if, back in January, when the Congressional Budget Office came out saying that attacks were imminent, whether the utility company took any measures at that point to better protect the grid.

“Would say that we take measures all the time based on intelligence and information we’re receiving,” Brooks said.

“But nothing was done specifically in response to that alert?” Carter asked.

“It’s possible that there was,” Brooks said. “I don’t have the specific itemized details of what was done. I know that every alert is taken very seriously and every alert translates into some review of our strategy.”

As for finding out who is responsible for the attacks, it sounds like things have been handed over to federal law enforcement to investigate.

“My understanding is that, that is continuing and we’ll continue to support that as it goes forward,” Brooks said.

A month later, we have a lot more answers from Duke, although we’re still working to learn how much this cost to fix -- not just Duke Energy, but also all the people who were forced to live in the dark for nearly a week.

Channel 9 previously reported the FBI was granted a federal order for cell phone records to see who might have been in the area the night of the attack. Other state agencies have issued several warrants, but those are sealed.

There’s still a $75,000 reward being offered for information leading to arrests.

(WATCH MORE BELOW: Authorities file search warrants in connection with Moore County power grid attack)


Madison Carter

Madison Carter, wsoctv.com

Madison is an investigative reporter and anchor for Channel 9.