Tampa Electric restoration in full swing; additional crews to assist
TAMPA, June 25, 2012
Tampa Electric is bringing in backup from another utility to help restore power to Tampa Bay customers affected by severe weather from Tropical Storm Debby.
At 3 p.m. today, about 8,500 customers remained without power. Tampa Electric crews have restored power to thousands of customers affected by Debby since the peak of 20,000 customers on Sunday night. The company’s next outage update will occur Wednesday morning.
Tampa Electric’s restoration will be aided by about 50 linemen from Sumter Utility in Alabama, who are expected to arrive by noon Tuesday. Tampa Electric is a member of the Southeastern Electric Exchange, or SEE, which is a network of utilities who pledge mutual assistance in case of storm or other emergency.
With Tropical Storm Debby expected to linger for several days, customers may see additional outages this week. If severe weather results in a power outage at your home or business, please contact Tampa Electric. The fastest way to report a power outage is through the utility’s automated line, 877.588.1010.
Crews are assessing damage from Debby and making repairs as they are able. Tampa Electric strives to restore service in priority order. We focus on restoring facilities identified by governmental agencies as critical to public health and safety, such as hospitals, disaster centers and main police and fire stations. Tampa Electric then focuses on repairs that will restore power to the largest number of customers in the shortest possible time.
Underground electric systems do not guarantee protection from damage by hurricanes and other storms. Uprooted trees, flooding and tidal surges can cause severe damage to the underground system. In flooded areas, storm damage restoration efforts must be delayed until the water has receded, and restoration typically takes longer on underground systems.
Tampa Electric reminds its customers to stay safe during and after the storm:
- Stay out of floodwaters, as they can hide energized power lines or put you at risk of drowning.
- Remember to also keep away from downed power lines and urge others to be extremely cautious.
- If you lose power, remember to use portable generators safely. DO NOT connect your portable generator into your home’s circuits. Plug your appliances directly into the generator. Connecting your generator to the circuits may cause power to flow to outside lines, posing life-threatening danger to restoration crews.
- Portable generators must not be used inside residences or any enclosed space (like a garage) where deadly carbon monoxide gases could build up.
Tampa Electric Company is the principal subsidiary of TECO Energy Inc. (NYSE: TE), an energy-related holding company with regulated utility operations in Florida, including both Tampa Electric and Peoples Gas System . Tampa Electric serves nearly 676,000 customers in West Central Florida. Other subsidiaries include TECO Coal, which owns and operates coal production facilities in Kentucky and Virginia, and TECO Guatemala, which is engaged in electric power generation and energy-related businesses in Guatemala.