Tampa Electric provides early estimate of Hurricane Jeanne's impact to its system
TAMPA, September 26, 2004
Tampa Electric today provided an early estimate of the impact of Hurricane Jeanne, the third major hurricane to hit its system since mid-August. While aerial and detailed ground surveys will not be completed until Monday morning, the company provided a preliminary estimate that at mid-afternoon, up to 274,000 Tampa Electric customers were without power as a result of Jeanne. The company cautioned that continued inclement weather could cause additional outages this evening.
The company expects to be able to provide a more concrete estimate once the detailed assessment has been completed on Monday.
Hurricane Jeanne inflicted substantial damage to the company's trs transmission and distribution circuits, as well as some substation facilities. Initial estimates show that damage to the company's transmission system is more extensive than what was experienced during either Hurricane Charley or Frances.
Vice President-Energy Delivery Thomas Hernandez said, "Tampa Electric expects to begin its Hurricane Jeanne restoration efforts in earnest this evening, working through the night, as soon as conditions are safe to do so. In fact, we have already been working on restoration throughout the day, during periods of lower winds."
Hernandez added that, because there are now fewer available resources, both outside workers and materials, restoration from Jeanne could take longer than previous restoration efforts. Many restoration resources are still devoted to repairing damage from Hurricanes Charley, Frances and Ivan. The company is scheduling line repair crews for shifts of 24 hours on/8 hours off to address restoration as quickly as possible.
"Our top priorities are the safety of our people and the rapid restoration of power to our customers," said Hernandez.
The company reiterated that public health and safety are the top restoration priorities. Hospitals, fire and police stations and other facilities necessary for public health and safety will be restored first. Second priority facilities include schools. From there the company restores in order of efficiency, working first on activities that can restore the largest number of customers with a single repair. This is the most efficient way to restore an electrical system, and also the most fair to all concerned.
The company asks that customers with normal storm-related power outages (non-life threatening) wait 48 hours to call the company's customer service numbers, allowing customer service professionals to focus fully on any emergent, potentially hazardous situations.
Tampa Electric customer service numbers are as follows:
Tampa Electric Company is the principal subsidiary of TECO Energy, Inc. (NYSE: TE), an integrated energy-related holding company with core businesses in the utility sector, complemented by a family of unregulated businesses. 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.