SECO Energy’s crews and contract line and tree trimming crews remain fully deployed for final Hurricane Irma power restoration. Today, 1,200 crew members from nine states are finishing the last of the feeder rebuilding and repairing. Crews are also focusing on restoring isolated outages affecting small numbers of members, and clearing trees from functioning lines.
Understandably, SECO members have been frustrated by the outages caused by significant infrastructure damage as Hurricane Irma blazed a path through our service territory. Members reported over 110,000 outages immediately after hurricane-force winds left over half of SECO’s feeder lines on the ground and covered by downed trees and debris. Phone lines and Internet services were inoperational, making outage reporting difficult for members.
For the few thousand members still without power on Sunday, it has been a long week. Restoration efforts have been hampered by standing water, significant system damage and multiple thefts of copper line in Webster and Lake Panasoffkee. Earlier this week, SECO publicly committed to full restoration on Sunday. As of 10 am, SECO has less than 3,000 members – less than one percent – remain without power according to SECO’s Storm Center outage map it appears we will uphold that commitment.
Florida mandates that facilities such as hospitals, shelters, schools and government offices are given highest priority when restoration begins. SECO restored power to these facilities first. Assisted-living, non-hospital medical facilities, nursing homes, gas stations and communications towers running on generator power began running out of fuel Thursday. These necessarily became a priority. SECO’s crews are pulled in many directions so members may see crews leaving residential areas that are not yet completely restored. Homes in one subdivision on one side of the street may have power while the other side does not. This can occur where one line ends and another line begins.
If a member experiences a new outage, it should be reported at Storm Center using the last name and house number. Members can also use our interactive restoration map. It displays areas where small pockets of outages exist and crews are working. It does not display individual outages but crews are being deployed to those as well this morning because there are more than 1,200 crew members in the field moving from one outage to the next.
Please keep in mind that Hurricane Irma just left SECO’s service area late Monday morning. Even the storms of 2004 didn’t hit SECO’s area this hard and with this much damage. The system disruption is unprecedented and SECO is doing its best to quickly and fully recover.
During this time of prolonged outages from Hurricane Irma, if you are using a generator, never let it operate in an enclosed space such as your home, garage or enclosed porch. Generators emit carbon monoxide, a silent, odorless killer. There are multiple reports of Central Floridians who have been rushed to the hospital for carbon monoxide poisoning, and some of these cases were fatal. Read and follow manufacturer’s safety warnings when operating a generator.
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.