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News Release

Tampa Electric restores 57,000 customers since peak impact; 228,000 customers still without power

TAMPA, September 27, 2004

Tampa Electric this morning reported that 228,000 customers are without power, including 167,000 in Hillsborough County, 54,000 in Polk County/Winter Haven and 7,000 in Pasco County/Dade City. This figure is down 57,000 from the original peak of 285,000 outages resulting from Hurricane Jeanne.

The company experienced extensive structural damage to the eastern portion of its system, including equipment serving Brandon, Plant City, Dade City and Winter Haven, and surrounding areas. Transmission and distribution circuits, as well as substation facilities, were more significantly damaged than during Hurricane Charley or Frances.

The company expects to complete aerial and detailed ground surveys of damage to its system today.

Vice President-Energy Delivery Tom Hernandez said, “Our crews are on the job, working 24-hour shifts to restore power to our customers as safely and quickly as possible. Power restoration will be more challenging with this storm, because outside assistance is less available.”

Of the 1,800 line crew and tree trimming personnel Tampa Electric requested from other utilities, the company expects that it will get 300, and that those will primarily arrive on Wednesday. Many resources, both materials and workers, are still engaged with restoration efforts from Hurricanes Charley, Frances and Ivan.

“The reality is, with Hurricane Jeanne, we have more damage, and less help. Restoration is likely to take longer, and we ask the customers without power as a result of this storm for their patience,” 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 emergency situations.

Tampa Electric customer service numbers are as follows:

  • Hillsborough 813-223-0800
  • Polk 863-299-0800
  • Toll-free 888-223-0800

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.

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TECO Energy, Tampa Electric, Peoples Gas
TECO Energy, Inc.
702 N. Franklin Street
Tampa, Florida 33602
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