Late Tuesday night into early Wednesday morning, a strong line of thunderstorms swept into SECO Energy territory. Heavy rains soaked the area causing downed trees, poles and electric lines.
Central Florida has been the target of powerful winter thunderstorms this year, and SECO’s system continues to fare very well. This stability is attributed to solid design, quality construction, consistent maintenance and balanced vegetation management protocol.
At the height of the storms, almost 4,000 SECO members in Marion and Levy Counties experienced a service interruption when a Duke Energy transmission line failed. A second large-scale outage occurred when a tree fell into a line, affecting the Westwood Acres and Rainbow Lakes communities. SECO Operations employees were immediately dispatched to the affected area and worked throughout the night. Service was restored to all members by 5:30 a.m. Wednesday.
Clay Electric Cooperative’s members were affected by widespread outages due to the strong late night storms and asked SECO for aid. SECO was fortunate to have recovered quickly from the storm and was more than willing to lend a hand to a fellow electric cooperative. The SECO Operations team jumped into action. In just over an hour, the cooperative sent 20 of SECO’s employees to help restore power and also sent released 11 of its contracted line crews to Clay’s service area that afternoon.
John LaSelva, Vice President of Operations, stated, “SECO is always willing to assist our neighbors when possible. We have answered the call to assist fellow cooperatives, investor-owned utilities and municipalities, and understand our duty to render aid when needed. SECO’s efforts to storm harden its system continue to pay off. A well-designed system that includes comprehensive vegetation management is key to not only preventing outages but is paramount to restoring outages quickly and safely when they occur.”
LaSelva added, “The most important consideration is the energy consumer. Power is necessary for SECO members, and all consumers for that matter, to maintain their quality of life. SECO supports cooperation among cooperatives and stands Storm Ready when weather conditions turn volatile in The Sunshine State.”
Learn more about preparing your family’s emergency kit online. Bookmark SECO’s Storm Center so you can quickly report an outage using just your last name and house number. Establish a SmartHub account or download the app to update your phone number. “Like” SECO’s Facebook page and “follow” @SECOEnergy on Twitter for news releases and cooperative updates.