Streets and yards scattered with debris. Plywood taken off windows. Neighborhoods taking stock of how homes fared and who needs help. People everywhere are dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Irma – and we’re right there with you as our crews work to restore power to all of our customers as quickly and safely as possible.
Maybe it’s something you’ve experienced where you live, the way an emergency scenario can bring people together: talking in the street, finally meeting neighbors for the first time after years, waving at each other reassuringly as they drive by. Lots of calls between loved ones and updates for relatives out of state.
That sense of community is no different for the men and women of TECO working around the clock to get everyone’s lights back on. Air conditioning back on. Computers back on. The same is true of our customer service professionals taking your calls. We know the urgency you feel because many of us are in the exact same boat – waiting for our power to be restored too.
Here’s where our restoration effort is as of the afternoon of Sept. 12:
We are estimating that essentially all customers will be back in service by the end of this weekend. We expect to make significant strides to bring many customers back in service every day. Due to the magnitude of the storm and the significant rebuilding of the system required, some customers may take longer to restore. We have over 140,000 man hours of work to repair the damage to get customers back in service. We understand customers are looking for specific restoration information to plan and we will work to provide that information as restoration progresses and further damage is assessed. We are working around the clock to restore service to all customers affected by Hurricane Irma as quickly and safely as possible. Thank you for your patience during these efforts.
How we restore power:
- All communities we serve are equal to us. During a widespread power outage, our goal is to restore power to the largest number of customers in the shortest possible time.
- Our crews are working in shifts to ensure that power restoration continues around the clock. As part of the mutual assistance pact we belong to through the Southeastern Electric Exchange, we’ve welcome the expertise of out-of-state crews.
A plan for restoration:
- Electric service is restored to critical services facilities first – hospitals, disaster centers and main police and fire stations. This enables these places to help with other storm-related problems or injuries.
- Water and sewer installations are next.
- After that, we focus on communication service providers and facilities providing important public services such as supermarkets.
- Then we repair electrical circuits that provide power to the largest group of customers, followed by the remainder of the circuits until the power is back on for all our customers.
- My neighbor has power and I don’t! Because of the widespread damage a storm can cause, crews might need to make repairs at multiple spots along a single electric service line. As repairs are completed, some customers may receive power while others may still be out of service. Sometimes, different customers have different service lines, even within the same neighborhood. If you are on the same service line as your neighbor, you may also have damage to your meter that is interrupting electric service to your home.
- My home needs electricity for medical equipment! If you or someone experiences a medical crisis, please call 911 – that’s the bottom line. Don’t wait for power restoration if someone’s health is on the line.
- Not having power is miserable. More than 6 million Floridians – nearly a third of the entire state – lost power because of Irma, and not one of them enjoyed it. That number includes a lot of TECO employees. Many of us are in similar situations with our own families, and we know everyone without power wants and needs it back on as soon as possible. We know it’s incredibly frustrating, at the very least, to not have power.
We’re working on it, and we won’t stop until you have power – along with every last one of the approximately 730,000 customers we proudly serve.
In the field, on the phone and on social media, we’re listening to you. We have the talented professionals to get the job done, but it takes time to make sure everyone stays safe. You can check our outage map to learn more about the up-to-the-minute status of outages in the communities we serve. You can call us at 1-877-588-1010 to report an outage or do it online. If you’ve reported your outage, we have it in our system (no need to re-report it; in fact, multiple reports of the same outage can slow our time to address other outages).
Hurricane Irma could have been much worse, and we’re thankful it wasn’t. But as important as that is, we realize it’s equally important to look ahead to the point, as soon as possible, when all our customers have the safe, reliable power that we’re proud to provide. No matter who or where you are, our thoughts and prayers are with everyone reeling from the effects of Irma.
Severe weather is an extraordinary situation, and it takes an extraordinary effort to address the challenges that come with it. Thank you for your extraordinary patience, your kind and helpful words on social media and for looking out for each other. The spirit of community that’s so strong in wake of Hurricane Irma is something all of us at TECO aspire to embody every day of the year – in any kind of weather.