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News Release

Severe weather update 2

Tampa Electric is reporting as of 6:00 p.m. approximately 64,000 customers without electric service.

TAMPA, March 31, 2011

The company is still being impacted by the storms passing through our service area. We plan to communicate estimated restoration times as soon as we can assess the impact from today's severe weather. Tampa Electric crews, other team members and contract crews are working diligently throughout the night to assess the situation and restore power as quickly and safely as possible.

The outages are widespread throughout our service area, which includes all of Hillsborough County and parts of Polk, Pasco and Pinellas counties.

As with all Tampa Electric activities, safety is always the company's number one priority following a storm. Tampa Electric's second objective in the event of widespread outages is to restore power to the largest number of customers in the shortest possible time. Team members work to restore power to the entire service area as safely and quickly as possible.

Tampa Electric's restoration priorities
Electric service is restored in priority order. Facilities identified by governmental agencies as “critical” to public health and safety, such as hospitals, disaster centers and main police and fire stations, come first. This way, these critical agencies can assist with other storm-related problems or injuries.

For the protection of public health, primary water and sewer installations are next, followed by others, including communication service providers, schools, nursing homes, supermarkets, home improvement/building supply centers, insurance facilities and others.

Due to the configuration of the power system, part of a residential subdivision could have its power restored while another part is still without power. All residential areas are considered equally important, and Tampa Electric works safely and quickly to restore service to everyone.

In addition to the numerous precautions area residents can take to protect their families and property, here are a few key tips:

  • Stay away from any downed power lines. These lines may still be energized. If so, they are dangerous. Downed lines do not have to pop and snap to be energized. All persons should avoid any contact with any 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. It is safest to assume any downed power line is energized.
  • Use portable generators safely. DO NOT connect a portable generator to home circuits. Plug appliances directly to the generator. Connecting a generator to home circuits may cause power to flow to outside lines, posing life-threatening danger to restoration crews. Also, portable generators must NOT be taken into a residence or any enclosed space where deadly carbon monoxide gasses could build up. There are also other devices, such as invertors, that can provide some emergency backup power for small appliances through an automobile engine. (Note: this should not be done in a closed garage.)
  • 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, no irons left on 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 to let you know when power is restored. When in doubt, or when leaving the home for an extended period, customers should switch off their power at the main breaker.

Visit us online for more information
For additional outage updates and information about Tampa Electric's storm plans, visit, then the “Weather Watch” section that also includes current weather information.

To report a power outage or electrical emergency such as a downed power line, call Tampa Electric's dedicated toll-free automated system at 1-877-588-1010.

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. 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 distribution and energy-related businesses in Guatemala.

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