Tampa Electric Hurricane Frances update: Company works to restore power to 182,000 customers
TAMPA, September 6, 2004
Tampa Electric this afternoon reported that 182,000 customers throughout its service area are still without power following Hurricane Frances.
Vice President-Energy Delivery Tom Hernandez said, “Our people have done an outstanding job in the early stages of restoration, with more than 200,000 customers restored so far. Unfortunately, our progress has been hindered by today’s continued storm conditions, which caused additional outages. Now that Hurricane Frances is moving away from the area, we expect to progress more quickly.
”With Frances moving away from Tampa Electric’s service territory, full deployment of restoration personnel has begun. Starting Tuesday and Wednesday, the Tampa Electric workforce will be complemented by 1,100 workers, including contractors and workers on loan from other utilities.
The company’s detailed damage assessment to determine the impact to its system is underway, including ground-level and aerial evaluations. A detailed assessment will be completed Tuesday morning.
Hernandez estimates that power restoration could take 10 to 14 days. Customers are thanked in advance for their patience as crews work to restore power as quickly and safely as possible.
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 to 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 the company’s emergency line immediately at 1-877-503-6445, or call 911. The company advises that customers never, ever go near a downed power line.
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.