Tampa Electric working around the clock; restoring power quickly and safely
TAMPA, June 26, 2012
Tampa Electric made significant progress in restoring power overnight for Tampa Bay area customers affected by severe weather from Tropical Storm Debby.
As of 6 a.m. today, about 2,000 customers remained without power. Tampa Electric crews have restored power to thousands of customers since the peak of 20,000 customers on Sunday night. All customers currently affected by TS Debby should be restored sometime today, however, additional outages may occur today and Wednesday as high winds and rain linger in some areas.
Outages as of 6 a.m.:
- Hillsborough 2,019
- Pasco 11
- Pinellas 29
- Polk 12
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.
Later today, about 50 linemen from Sumter Utility in Alabama will arrive to help Tampa Electric crews with restoration. 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.
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 Tropical Storm Debby:
- Stay away from any downed power lines. Downed lines do not have to pop and snap to be energized. Assume any downed power line is energized. Everyone should avoid contact with a downed line or any object – such as a tree branch, fence, vehicle or even water – that has come in contact with a downed power line.
- Use portable generators safely. Do not connect a portable generator directly to a home circuit. Plug appliances directly to the generator. Connecting a generator to home circuits may cause power to flow to outside lines, called backfeed, which can pose life-threatening danger to restoration crews.
- Also, portable generators must be properly ventilated. Do not use a generator inside a residence or any enclosed space, such as a garage, where deadly carbon monoxide gasses could build up.
- Obtain a telephone that plugs directly into the wall jack. Portable household telephones won’t work without electricity, and area cell phone systems could be disrupted.
- In the event of an outage, prepare the home for power restoration. Customers should make sure their homes are ready to safely receive electricity once power has been restored. Make sure there are no flammable items on the stove, or other potentially dangerous situations. Turn off as many appliances as possible that require electricity and turn them on one-by-one after power is restored. This causes less stress to the power system and ensures that all customers get restored without unnecessary delays. Customers may want to leave their front porch light on so they will know when power is restored. When leaving the home for an extended period, customers should switch off their power at the main breaker.
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.