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News Release

Tampa Electric begins restoring power after Hurricane Irma – Update No. 1

Storm affected more than 425,000 customers, or about 60 percent of the system

TAMPA, September 11, 2017

Tampa Electric began restoring power today for the thousands of customers affected by Hurricane Irma.

Hurricane Irma affected Tampa Electric's West Central Florida territory Sunday and Monday with high winds and heavy rain. The storm toppled trees and caused significant debris; Polk County was the hardest hit portion of our territory.

In total, the storm knocked out power to 425,000 customers, with 335,000 customers at the peak. Power has already been restored to 90,000 customers, or about 20 percent of those affected.

"Our goal is a safe and efficient restoration," said Gordon Gillette, president and chief executive officer of Tampa Electric. "Restoration will take days – but, thankfully, not weeks. We know that being without power affects many aspects of our lives, and we appreciate everyone's patience."

The company plans to provide estimated restoration information on Tuesday.

About 3,500 line and tree workers, from other utilities from as far away as the Midwest, the Northeast and Canada, are assisting with restoration, which is the largest restoration effort in U.S. history.

Customer Service has 24-hour coverage – and extra staff on hand – to take emergency and outage-related calls. The company also has assistance from other utilities to take weather-related calls, if needed. For customers with non-storm-related calls, please consider calling later in the week.

Tampa Electric offers customers several ways to report power outages:

  • The fastest, easiest way to report an outage is to visit tecoaccount.com/outage.
  • Also, enroll in Power Updates from tecoaccount.com to text outage reports or get service updates via text, phone or email.
  • Update the phone number and email associated with your account at www.tecoaccount.com/yourprofile. This helps when you report an outage.
  • Residential and commercial customers may call Tampa Electric's dedicated toll-free automated power outage phone system at 1-877-588-1010to report a power outage or electric emergency.

Customers can monitor and track outages in their neighborhoods through the outage map at tampaelectric.com/outagemap. The map displays the cause, status and estimated restoration time. Tampa Electric also will use Twitter @tampaelectric to keep customers informed about outage restoration.

Tampa Electric would like to remind customers to be safe after a storm:

  • Remember to keep away from downed power lines and urge others to be extremely cautious.
  • Remember to use portable generators safely. Plug your appliances directly into the generator. DO NOT connect your portable generator into your home’s circuits. 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 taken into homes or any enclosed space (like a garage) where deadly carbon monoxide gases could build up.
  • Stay out of floodwaters, as they can hide energized power lines or put you at risk of drowning.

Tampa Electric, one of Florida’s largest investor-owned electric utilities, serves about 730,000 customers in West Central Florida. Tampa Electric is a subsidiary of Emera Inc., a geographically diverse energy and services company headquartered in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

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CHERIE JACOBS
TECO Energy, Tampa Electric, Peoples Gas
TECO Energy, Inc.
702 N. Franklin Street
Tampa, Florida 33602
E-mail: cljacobs@tecoenergy.com Email Icon