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Tampa Electric sending crews to Grand Bahama Island to help restore power

Island was devastated by Hurricane Matthew; Linemen will relieve returning crews

TAMPA, October 21, 2016

Tampa Electric is sending about 20 people to Grand Bahama Island today, joining forces with crews from other Emera companies, to help a sister utility, Grand Bahama Power Co., restore power after Hurricane Matthew devastated the island.

The linemen and support personnel left before dawn this morning for Ft. Lauderdale. From there, the crews will ride a ferry to Freeport, Grand Bahama, where they are prepared to stay for two weeks. They will relieve a team of about 15 workers, who are returning home after working in the Bahamas for nearly two weeks. Bucket trucks and the Mobile Command Center were delivered to the island by barge with earlier shifts.

Hurricane Matthew hit Grand Bahama on Oct. 6 as a Category 4 storm and knocked out electricity to 100 percent of the customers of Grand Bahama Power Co., which number more than 19,000. Damage is so severe that in some areas, the electrical system is being rebuilt from the ground up. On Thursday, two weeks after the storm, about 25 percent of power has been restored. Full restoration is expected to take up to six more weeks.

Nearly 200 workers from Tampa Electric, other Emera utilities and contractors have been working 16-hour days along with GBPC workers to help rebuild the electrical network on the 530-square-mile island.

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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