More than 85 percent of Tampa Electric’s Frances outages now restored
TAMPA, September 8, 2004
Two days into full recovery from the largest outage situation in its history, Tampa Electric now has restored nearly 85 percent of the company’s 268,000 peak outages resulting from Hurricane Frances.
Approximately 40,000 customers are still without power in the company’s service area. The company estimates that essentially all customers will be restored by Friday, 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 made excellent progress so far, but we will not rest until each and every customer’s power is restored safely. We thank our customers for their continued patience.”
Hernandez added that the remaining customers will be restored in smaller increments. Once emergency facilities critical to public health and safety (hospitals, police and fire stations) and other key facilities, including schools and pumping stations, have been restored, the company prioritizes its restoration work based on safety and efficiency, making repairs that will restore the largest number of customers. Once that is done, the repairs that remain typically restore fewer numbers of customers at a time.
Hernandez added that the company’s restoration priorities do not favor any one geographic area over another. “Our restoration process is designed for the good of the entire region, to get everyone back as quickly and safely as possible,” he said.
About 90 percent of the damage to Tampa Electric’s system 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 problems and prevent further outages.
Normal business operations for Tampa Electric (new service requests, billing inquiries and so forth) are suspended until restoration work is complete.
Customers still without power can 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 should 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.