With Rising Water, Tampa Electric Evaluates Targeted Shutdown to Reduce Restoration Time
Tampa Electric is closely monitoring Hurricane Ian and is prepared to respond to severe weather that is expected to affect Florida in the coming days. Those preparations may include interrupting service to a small portion of evacuated Zone A in downtown Tampa to help reduce restoration time.
Hurricane Ian is expected to bring strong winds, heavy rain and potentially significant storm surge to Florida’s west coast by mid-week. Tampa Electric’s first priority is the safety of customers and employees, and the company urges residents to follow local evacuation orders.
As conditions warrant, Tampa Electric may proactively shut down power to the southern tip of the downtown area early Wednesday. By proactively shutting down certain parts of the network ahead of the storm, Tampa Electric can avoid serious damage to the underground equipment from saltwater storm surge, which will significantly shorten restoration time after the storm. The affected area is under a mandatory evacuation order. The proactive outage is expected to affect Harbor Island, two Channelside hotels, the transportation center and most of Davis Islands. It will not affect Tampa General Hospital.
“The safety of our customers and our equipment is our top priority, and if you live in an evacuated zone, I urge you to take immediate action,” said Archie Collins, president and chief executive officer of Tampa Electric. “Hurricane Ian is a large and unpredictable storm. While the path remains uncertain, we anticipate significant storm surge, and I encourage our customers to prepare for extended power outages.”
Tampa Electric’s comprehensive storm plan is in place, and the company is ready for whatever Mother Nature brings this way:
- Tampa Electric’s crews are prepared to work around the clock to restore power as quickly and safely as possible.
- With the help of thousands of line workers from other utilities, the company is planning to exponentially increase the number of crews in the field to help restore power. These crews are headed to Florida and will be riding out the storm outside of harm’s way.
- The call center has ample staff to handle customer calls, including seeking assistance from other utilities, if needed.
Customers should prepare for extended power outages. Tampa Electric offers customers several ways to report and monitor power outages:
- Log into your online account at tecoaccount.com/ to report the outage with one click. Visit tampaelectric.com/outage and report your outage.
- Text OUT to 27079. Text UPDATE or STATUS for updates on your reported outage.
- Call 1-877-588-1010, Tampa Electric’s dedicated toll-free automated power outage phone system.
- Go to tecoaccount.com/notifications and sign up for free outage notifications by text, email or phone calls.
- Visit our outage map at tampaelectric.com/outagemap to report and track outages. You can also get restoration status.
Tampa Electric encourages all customers to have a personal storm plan in place for their home or business. Visit tampaelectric.com/storm for tips, restoration information and additional guidance. Visit your county’s emergency management website to determine your flood zone, your hurricane evacuation zone, get flood depth data, flood insurance information, or help with property flood protection for residents.
Tampa Electric would like to remind customers to be safe after a storm:
- Remember to keep away from downed power lines and urge others to be extremely cautious.
- Remember to use portable generators safely. Plug your appliances directly into the generator. DO NOT connect your portable generator into your home’s circuits. Connecting your generator to the circuits may cause power to flow to outside lines, posing life-threatening danger to restoration crews.
- Portable generators must not be taken into homes or any enclosed space (like a garage) where deadly carbon monoxide gases could build up.
- Stay out of floodwaters, as they can hide energized power lines or put you at risk of drowning.
Tampa Electric, one of Florida’s largest investor-owned electric utilities, serves more than 800,000 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.