SECO Energy is keeping a close watch on Hurricane Irma as its track lands the giant Category 5 storm in Florida. The cooperative is enacting its emergency plan in full alert mode starting Friday at 4 pm through the duration of the restoration event.
Hurricane Irma continues to move on a west-northwestward track with an increased speed of 17 miles per hour, and maximum sustained winds of 180 miles per hour. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) has shifted the impact cone to the east overnight, but that shift isn’t enough to send Irma away from Florida. The NHC predicts Irma will make landfall along the southern east coast of Florida or the storm will travel up the east coast.
SECO members will likely feel Irma’s effects late this weekend and early next week. SECO’s service area will likely experience tropical storm force winds, torrential rains and the possibility of tornadoes spawned by Hurricane Irma. Members should be prepared for the possibility of lengthy power outages.
Gather your emergency supplies and if you plan on running a portable or backup generator, now is the time to test that it is working properly and you have an adequate supply of fuel on hand. Never use a portable generator in an enclosed area. Generators emit carbon monoxide gas that is a silent, odorless killer. Visit SECO’s website for storm preparation tips and view an emergency checklist.
Floridians can access www.floridadisaster.org/shelters for shelter information by county, including general population shelters, pet-friendly shelters and special needs shelters.
Members with smartphones and tablets should bookmark SECO’s Storm Center for easy outage reporting and updates. SECO’s emergency restoration plan determines the system’s restoration priority of each affected feeder. Essential services such as hospitals, shelters, schools and government agencies are the highest priority. Line repairs that will restore power to large groups of members are next, and then individual electric services in less populated areas.To avoid scams and dangers, do not accept restoration assistance from someone who is asking for payment on the spot and is not a SECO employee or contractor. Under no circumstances would SECO ask for payment in the field during a restoration event. Do not attempt to reconnect services yourself.
SECO’s employees are Storm Ready and waiting to respond if outages occur. SECO is prepared for inclement weather and reminds members that it is best to be informed and prepared. All SECO members should continue to seek out supplies for their emergency kits, and be ready to wait out the storm.
As a not-for-profit electric cooperative, SECO is dedicated to being our members’ first source for accurate storm information. “Like” SECO’s Facebook page and “follow” the company on Twitter to stay updated about storms affecting our area.