Tampa Electric restores 75 percent of Frances outages; remainder now expected to be restored in 3-5 days
TAMPA, September 7, 2004
Tampa Electric this morning reported that it had restored nearly 75 percent of the company’s 268,000 peak outages resulting from Hurricane Frances. Approximately 65,000 customers are still without power in the company’s service area. The company now estimates that essentially all customers will be restored within three to five days, with the exception of those where access is not possible because of flooding or other damage that precludes electrical service.
Vice President-Energy Delivery Tom Hernandez said, "Our team has shown flexibility and adaptability in dealing with the widespread outages we’ve experienced as a result of Hurricane Frances. I’m proud of the way they continue to work, and their commitment to the safe and rapid restoration of power to all our customers.”
Hernandez added that this is the single largest power outage situation the company has experienced in its history.
After physically inspecting individual circuits on the ground and the system as a whole from the air, Tampa Electric has completed a detailed assessment of damage. Damage is primarily confined to the distribution equipment that brings electricity from substations to customers’ homes and businesses. Damage is widespread, however, spread throughout the company’s Hillsborough, Polk and Pasco service areas.
Approximately 90 percent of the damage has been tree-related, including limbs and trees continuing to fall into Tampa Electric’s equipment. The company is aggressively working to identify areas of continued problem and prevent further outages.
“We know our customers who are still without power are frustrated. Many members of our team, too, are without power. Please know that the singular focus of each and every man and woman at Tampa Electric is on restoring your power, as safely and quickly as possible,” said Hernandez.
Starting today, the Tampa Electric workforce will be complemented by additional workers, including contractors and workers on loan from other utilities.
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.