SECO Energy is prepared for Tropical Storm Eta and its possible effects on its service territory. While Tropical Storm Eta’s ultimate track and intensity remain uncertain, SECO members should expect rain and wind to blanket the area.
The National Hurricane Center (NHC) forecasts that rainbands from Tropical Storm Eta will affect the area through Friday or Saturday this week. The tropical storm made landfall late Sunday evening in the Florida Keys. The current NHC track predicts Tropical Storm Eta will move southwest into the Gulf of Mexico and gain strength to become a hurricane; however, the models are quite varied.
SECO Energy is StormReady and prepared to respond to power outages caused by Tropical Storm Eta’s rainbands and wind gusts. SECO employee and contractor line crews, as well as tree crews staged across the system. Members should prepare for the possibility of rain and wind gusts from 25 to 40 mph in SECO’s area until Friday or Saturday. Above normal rains in October have left some areas saturated. Additional rain from Tropical Storm Eta could cause outages from trees falling into power lines.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic began in mid-March, SECO Energy has taken the necessary precautions to ensure the health and wellbeing of its employees and contractors. SECO’s line crews and contractors are the key to preserving service reliability for the cooperative’s 200,000+ homes and businesses within its service territory. The COVID-19 protections instituted for SECO employees and contractors may slow restoration effort.
CEO Jim Duncan stated, “Since the Atlantic hurricane season began in June, SECO Energy has been prepared for tropical storms or hurricanes. We are ready to respond to any power outages caused by Tropical Storm Eta with our full staff of support employees and line technicians as well as line and tree contractor crews staged across the system. We are monitoring Tropical Storm Eta closely. The track, intensity and forecast of tropical storms and hurricanes often changes, and we will keep members updated so they can be prepared.”
Duncan also reminded members that SECO Energy’s StormCenter outage reporting and communications platform offers outage alerts. He advises, “StormCenter is available for members to report new outages or check the status of an existing outage using their smartphones or tablets 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Members should also enroll in outage notifications and alerts via email, text or voice message, or all three. An alert is sent when the system recognizes that your service has been interrupted. The alert will include crew status, start time and an estimated restoration time. You’ll also receive a notification when service is restored, and we will include the cause of the outage if it is known at that time.”
Members should visit StormCenter and bookmark the site on their smartphones or tablets. On StormCenter, members can view the outage map, enroll or manage notifications, check the status of an existing outage, report an area light issue and more.