Tampa Electric Hurricane Frances update: 180,000 power outages so far
TAMPA, September 5, 2004
Tampa Electric Company this afternoon provided an estimate of damage so far from Hurricane Frances. The company estimates there are currently 180,000 customers without power. The outages are located throughout the company’s service territory and not in any one particular region.
Vice President Tom Hernandez said, “This storm, as we expected, has had a significant impact on our system already. Our people are ready to respond, and as soon as it’s safe for them to be on the road, they will begin restoring customers as quickly as possible.”
As the last half of the storm passes, the company is working through the night, collecting data, assessing damage and preparing its workforce. Hernandez expects that the team will be able to begin work at first light on Monday, based on current weather projections.
Customers are thanked in advance for their patience as crews work to restore power as quickly and safely as possible. The duration of this storm versus that of Hurricane Charley is expected to make restoration efforts take longer. Some workers from utilities in other states are already in the area and prepared to complement the Tampa Electric restoration team. Additional workers will arrive on Tuesday, once it’s safe for them to drive into the state.
Normal business operations for Tampa Electric (new service requests, billing inquiries and so forth) are suspended until restoration efforts are well underway.
The company is aware of the widespread outages its service area and will be working to restore all of its customers. If after 48 to 72 hours, customers are still without power, they should then contact Tampa Electric at 813-223-0800, (toll-free) 888-223-0800 or (Polk County) 863-299-0800. Customers with life-threatening power situations, such as downed power lines, should call immediately.
TECO Energy, Inc. (NYSE: TE) is an integrated energy-related holding company with core businesses in the utility sector, complemented by a family of unregulated businesses. Its principal subsidiary, Tampa Electric Company, is a regulated utility with both electric and gas divisions (Tampa Electric and Peoples Gas System). Other subsidiaries are engaged in waterborne transportation, coal and synthetic fuel production and independent power.