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Progress Energy Florida responds to Tropical Storm Debby, prepares for additional damage

Slow-moving system likely to cause multi-day outages

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (June 24, 2012) – Progress Energy Florida crews have battled the effects of Tropical Storm Debby today, and are preparing to repair even more damage as the slow-moving storm continues to pound the Florida coastline.

Crews worked throughout Sunday, successfully restoring more than 80,000 customers who lost power from this tropical storm system. At 9:30 p.m., about 35,000 customers were still without power. The company expects more outages as the storm makes landfall and moves through its service territory next week.

In anticipation of continued damage from T. S. Debby, Progress Energy Florida has moved crews from areas not affected by the storm 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’s crews first assess damage and determine what crews, equipment and supplies will be needed to make repairs. These damage-assessment crews will begin working as soon as the storm has passed and conditions are safe. Flooded roads, closed bridges and other effects of the storm will likely make it difficult for utility personnel to move around and may delay the start of restoration efforts.

Once the damage assessment is completed, 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 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 and Facebook at

When the storm hits

  • Stay indoors in an inside room away from doors and windows, electrical outlets and water pipes.
  • Keep television and radio tuned for information from official sources.  Be prepared to evacuate at a moment’s notice.
  • If you evacuate, shut off gas, water and electricity (electricity can be shut off at the breaker box).  Take blankets, first-aid supplies and other essential items with you to the nearest shelter.

Be safe after the storm

  • Never go near downed power lines. Always assume they are energized and extremely dangerous. If someone suffers an electric shock, call 911 or your local rescue squad immediately. Even minor shocks may cause serious health problems later.
  • Check for electrical damage inside your home, such as frayed wires, sparks or the smell of burning insulation. If you find damage, don’t turn your power on until an electrician inspects your system and makes necessary repairs.
  • Walk and drive cautiously. Watch out for debris-filled streets and weakened bridges.
  • Snakes and insects can be a problem after storms.
  • Use your emergency water supply or boil water before drinking it until local officials deem the water supply safe. Report broken sewer or water mains.
  • Make temporary repairs to protect property from further damage or looting. Beware of unscrupulous contractors.

If the power goes out

  • Do not connect a generator directly to your home’s electrical system. It is dangerous to you, your neighbors and utility workers. Follow manufacturer’s directions regarding connecting appliances directly to your generator.
  • In any power outage, utility crews restore service as quickly as possible, starting with the largest lines and facilities serving the most people.

For more storm and safety information, visit Progress Energy's storm site at

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

Media contact: Progress Energy Florida 24-hour media line, 866.520.6397

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