Storm had minimal impact on customers; Power will be restored today
Tampa Electric is restoring power today for the customers affected by Hurricane Idalia.
Hurricane Idalia brought rain and wind to Tampa Electric’s West Central Florida territory overnight, which resulted in scattered power outages. Tampa Electric restored power throughout the storm and expects to complete restoration today. At this time, the storm knocked out power to about 35,000 customers total, with most restored by daybreak. The remnants of the storm continue to impact our area, and our line crews continue to restore power as needed.
“The weather impact was not as severe as anticipated, and our crews were able to work through the night to restore customers during the storm,” said Archie Collins, president and chief executive officer of Tampa Electric. “We are thankful this storm had only minimal impact on our customers.”
Ahead of the storm, Tampa Electric secured about 3,000 workers from other utilities, including line crews, tree trimmers and damage assessors. Tampa Electric released most of those crews early today to help other utilities in harder-hit areas.
In areas with flooding, restoration may be delayed until water recedes.
Tampa Electric reminds customers to be safe after a storm:
- Stay out of floodwaters, as they can hide energized power lines or put you at risk of drowning.
- Remember to keep away from downed power lines and urge others to be extremely cautious.
- 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.
- Portable generators must not be taken into homes or any enclosed space (like a garage) where deadly carbon monoxide gases could build up.
- Be cautious when outside, as tree limbs may have become loose and could fall without warning.
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 com/Outage to report your outage and get restoration status.
- 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.
Tampa Electric is temporarily suspending disconnections for unpaid bills.
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
Tampa Electric, one of Florida’s largest investor-owned electric utilities, serves more than 830,000 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.