SECO Energy is enacting its emergency restoration plan in full alert this afternoon well before Hurricane Irma barrels through the state. SECO employees and hundreds of line and tree contractors from across the nation will focus on power restoration throughout the duration of the event. Hundreds of bucket trucks, front loaders, cranes, and other heavy equipment is being assembled at SECO locations.
The current National Hurricane Center (NHC) forecast indicates Hurricane Irma continues to move west-northwest at a speed of 16 miles per hour. Irma is currently a Category 4 storm. The projection cone has shifted, putting Irma’s path directly through the state’s center. Hurricane Irma is 250 miles wide, and by the time it reaches Central Florida, Irma could be a Category 2 or Category 3 hurricane which is unprecedented for Central Florida.
Tropical storm winds will likely affect SECO’s area before the storm makes landfall in south Florida on Sunday. Bucket trucks cannot operate in high wind conditions. When winds exceed 35 mph, restoration efforts are curtailed due to safety. It is possible with the hurricane timing and intensity that SECO won’t be able to conduct restoration activity beginning Saturday night until winds subside on Monday. SECO members should expect power to be off for an extended period of time due to hurricane-force winds.
SECO’s employees are Storm Ready and waiting to respond to outages spawned by Hurricane Irma. SECO is prepared for inclement weather and reminds members that it is best to be informed and prepared.
Have your emergency supplies including food, water, batteries, a radio, etc. in a safe place. If you are using a portable or backup generator during outages, never let the generator run in enclosed spaces. Generators emit carbon monoxide gas that is a silent, odorless killer. Ensure these are connected correctly. 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.
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.