SECO Energy employees and contractors worked overnight and will continue throughout the day restoring outages caused by Tropical Storm Elsa. The storm strengthened into a Category 1 hurricane Tuesday evening as it approached the Tampa Bay area, but lost intensity and reverted back to tropical storm strength.
Currently, the storm is moving north at 14 mph with maximum sustained winds of 65 mph. The 11 AM forecast from the National Hurricane Center (NHC) shows Tropical Storm Elsa making landfall in Taylor County along the North Florida Gulf Coast. Once Elsa leaves Florida, it is predicted to travel along the east coast and create storm surges in Georgia and South Carolina.
SECO Energy began monitoring Tropical Storm Elsa last week and was well prepared. SECO’s system fared extremely well overnight as the storm’s rain bands soaked the cooperative’s service territory. Elsa also brought tornado watches, warnings and strong winds. There were no large substation or feeder outages, and just 300 services were without power during the overnight hours. Rain will continue today as Tropical Storm Elsa leaves Central Florida.
CEO Jim Duncan commends the employees’ and contract crews’ restoration effort. He stated, “I am extremely grateful for the efforts of our SECO employees. We prepare for the worst and our employees are ready to respond to outages 24/7. I also want to acknowledge the contract line and vegetation crew reinforcements who answered our call to assist with Tropical Storm Elsa restoration.”
Duncan also reminded members that SECO Energy’s StormCenter outage reporting and communications platform offers outage alerts. “StormCenter is available for members to report outages 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, 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 and an estimated restoration time. You’ll also receive a notification when the service is restored that includes 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. At StormCenter, members can view the outage map, enroll or manage notifications, check the status of an existing outage, report an area light outage and more.