Restoration efforts expected to take multiple days in some areas
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (June 25, 2012) – Progress Energy Florida crews continue to battle the effects of Tropical Storm Debby today, in response to the slow-moving storm that continues to pound the Florida coastline.
Crews have successfully restored more than 140,500 customers since the first effects of the storm began on Sunday. As of 11:00 a.m., about 24,000 customers were still without power. The company expects additional outages over the next several days as the storm is expected to make landfall along the Florida coast later this week.
Crews continue restoration efforts, even as the storm continues. Repair work is being complicated by high winds and flooding, which make travel and access to damaged equipment a challenge in some areas.
Progress Energy Florida has moved additional crews from areas not affected by the storm to the hardest areas, and is bringing in additional line & service and tree personnel from neighboring utilities. The company is mobilizing employees to handle increased customer calls, to quickly evaluate storm damage, to coordinate line crew and equipment mobilization and to coordinate materials required for repairs.
Progress Energy Florida encourages customers to ensure household safety and to call Progress Energy Florida to report power outages at 1.800.228.8485. Customers can also use this number to report downed power lines.
After severe weather, Progress Energy Florida takes specific steps to restore power. The utility first assesses damage and determines what crews, equipment and supplies will be needed to make repairs. Flooded roads, closed bridges and other effects of the storm will likely make it difficult for utility personnel to move around and may further delay restoration efforts.
Once the damage assessment is complete, the company will provide a return-to-service estimate for all its customers. Restoration times will depend on how long it takes for the storm to pass, extent of the damage and the difficulty of accessing damaged areas.
The first repair priorities are transmission lines, high-voltage lines that deliver electricity from power plants to substations. From substations, electricity is delivered to communities by feeder and tap lines. Individuals receive power from service lines that branch off tap or feeder lines. After making repairs to the large transmission lines, transmission and substation crews join line and service crews in repairing tap and service lines. This systematic process helps restore the most customers as soon as possible.
New tools to track outages and restoration
Customers and media can find outage information on Progress Energy's website 24 hours a day at www.progress-energy.com/outagemap. The map is being updated at regular intervals throughout the day.
Progress Energy Florida is also using social media channels to keep customers informed throughout the storm restoration process. The company will post regular updates on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ProgEnergyFL and Facebook at www.facebook.com/ProgressEnergyFlorida.
When the storm hits
Be safe after the storm
If the power goes out
For more storm and safety information, visit Progress Energy's storm site at www.progress-energy.com/storm.
Progress Energy Florida, a subsidiary of Progress Energy (NYSE: PGN), provides electricity and related services to more than 1.6 million customers in Florida. The company is headquartered in St. Petersburg, Fla., and serves a territory encompassing more than 20,000 square miles, including the cities of St. Petersburg and Clearwater, as well as the Central Florida area surrounding Orlando. Progress Energy Florida is pursuing a balanced approach to meeting the future energy needs of the region. That balance includes increased energy-efficiency programs, investments in renewable energy technologies and a state-of-the-art electricity system. For more information about Progress Energy, visit www.progress-energy.com.
Media contact: Progress Energy Florida 24-hour media line, 1.866.520.6397
Follow Progress Energy Florida on Twitter: www.twitter.com/ProgEnergyFL
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