Tampa Electric is working around the clock – and has brought in reinforcements – to restore power for the thousands of customers affected by Hurricane Ian.
Tampa Electric expects to restore power to the vast majority of customers by Sunday night. Some portions of Polk County and eastern Hillsborough County, which had more damage, should be restored by Monday night. Some customers with more complex damage may take longer to restore.
Crews began restoring power to customers early yesterday morning, and damage caused by Hurricane Ian was extensive. In total, about 295,000 of TECO’s more than 810,000 customers were impacted by the storm. By 1 p.m. today, power has already been restored to more than 126,000 customers, or 43 percent of those affected.
“We are making significant progress around the clock to restore power, and we won’t stop until we’ve restored every customer,” said Archie Collins, president and chief executive officer of Tampa Electric. “We know that customers are trying to get life back to normal, and having electricity is a key part of that. Thank you for your patience.”
Due to the magnitude of the storm and the repairs required, restoration will require thousands of individual repairs. About 3,000 crew members, from utilities as far away as Oklahoma, Texas and Indiana, are in the field today to assist Tampa Electric. These responders include teams of lineworkers, tree trimmers and damage assessors.
When large areas lose power, Tampa Electric prioritizes public health and safety facilities, then places necessary to provide essential supplies, like grocery stores. The next priority is restoring the greatest number of residential customers in the shortest amount of time. To learn more about our restoration process, visit here.
Customer Service has 24-hour coverage – and extra staff on hand – to take emergency and outage-related calls. The company also has assistance from other utilities to take weather-related calls. For customers with non-storm-related calls, please consider calling later in the week.
Tampa Electric offers customers several ways to report power outages:
- The fastest, easiest way to report an outage is to visit tampaelectric.com/outage.
- Also, enroll in Power Updates from tecoaccount.com to text outage reports or get service updates via text, phone or email.
- Update the phone number and email associated with your account at tecoaccount.com/yourprofile. This helps when you report an outage.
- Residential and commercial customers may call Tampa Electric’s dedicated toll-free automated power outage phone system at 1-877-588-1010 to report a power outage or electric emergency.
Customers can monitor and track outages in their neighborhoods through the outage map at tampaelectric.com/outagemap. The map displays the cause, status and estimated restoration time. Tampa Electric also will use Twitter @tampaelectric to keep customers informed about outage restoration.
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. Downed lines should be reported to TECO immediately at 813-223-0800.
- Smell gas? Act fast. The odor of rotten eggs is an indicator that a natural gas line might be damaged. Immediately move to safety and call 911, then call Peoples Gas at 877-832-6747. Emergency calls are answered 24/7/365.
- 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. If you are unsure, please consult with a licensed electrician.
- Portable generators must not be taken into homes or any enclosed space (like a garage) where deadly carbon monoxide gas could build up.
- Stay out of floodwaters, as they can hide energized power lines or put you at risk of drowning.
In addition, customers should be aware that scammers are on the rise, targeting those impacted by Hurricane Ian. These bad actors will email, and text customers, telling them if they don’t pay their bill right now, their power will be cut off, and other messages that may be convincing. Links to make payments are often included and may mimic the appearance of a TECO website page. They may also try to call, and “spoof” the company’s phone number so it looks like they are Tampa Electric.
Stay vigilant and follow these tips:
- Tampa Electric will never call to ask for credit card or debit card numbers.
- Be wary of anyone demanding payment over the phone for a utility bill.
- Never give credit or debit card information over the phone.
- Know what you owe. Reference your most recent bill or log into your online account to check your account status.
- If you are uncertain about an individual’s association with Tampa Electric, please contact the company for verification at 888-223-0800
While employees of Tampa Electric focus on helping customers recover from Hurricane Ian, the company is temporarily suspending disconnections for nonpayment.
Tampa Electric, one of Florida’s largest investor-owned electric utilities, serves more than 810,000 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.