TAMPA, October 14, 1999
With Hurricane Irene now forecast to affect Florida, Tampa Electric is taking all necessary precautions to safeguard its systems and ready all available personnel in the event the storm makes landfall within our 2,000 square mile service area.
As we've seen with prior hurricanes and tropical storms, they can wreak intense havoc on a utility's electric transmission and distribution systems. Significant power outages are not uncommon during storm conditions. Additionally, other important infrastructures such as communications systems will be affected and may prevent our customers from contacting the company.
For storm preparation information, Tampa Electric's storm brochure and storm tips are available on the company's online site on the Internet's World Wide Web, located at http://www.tampaelectric.com. During and after the storm, Tampa Electric will maintain communications with the news media so that they can keep electric customers informed. Tampa Electric will be repairing damage and restoring power as quickly as possible, and coordinating with appropriate emergency response agencies.
Here's how the plan works:
Electric service is restored in a pre-determined order of priority. Hospitals, disaster centers, and police and fire stations come first. This way, these agencies can assist with other storm-related problems or injuries.
Water and sewer installations are next, followed by telephone service and residential customers who depend on power for life-support systems.
While restoring power to customers with critical energy needs is the company's top priority, safety is the company's primary concern throughout the restoration period. Our objective is to restore power to the largest number of customers in the shortest possible time.
Many departments at Tampa Electric have responsibilities when storm emergencies occur ranging from establishing work priorities to receiving outage-related calls and relaying information to crews in the field.
Preparation begins before the storm arrives
When a storm's arrival is imminent, crews are placed on call so that they are immediately available to repair any damage affecting Tampa Electric's lines and equipment. During extremely hazardous conditions, however, field crews do not begin restoration until they can do so safely.
Customers play a role in restoring service
Tampa Electric's storm plan also relies on teams of employees patrolling the electric system to locate problems. These efforts can be enhanced by customers who are asked to:
*Stay away from any downed power lines. These lines may still be energized. If so, they are dangerous. All persons should avoid any contact with any downed lines or any object, such as a tree branch or vehicle, that has come into contact with a downed power line.
Tampa Electric's storm plan is carefully reviewed and updated annually. Tampa Electric is committed to doing everything possible to restore electric service quickly and safely.
Tampa Electric is the principal subsidiary of TECO Energy, Inc. TECO Energy is a diversified, energy-related utility holding company also based in Tampa. In addition to Tampa Electric, its principal businesses include Peoples Gas, TECO Coal, TECO Transport, TECO Coalbed Methane, TECO Power Services, and Bosek Gibson and Associates.
MEDIA CONTACT:Ross Bannister –Tampa Electric813/ 228-4945
For journalist inquiries only:
TECO Energy, Inc.
702 N. Franklin Street
Tampa, Florida 33602
Tampa Electric is an Emera company.
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