SECO Energy is tracking Hurricane Dorian as it travels through the Atlantic toward Florida. Forecasters predict Dorian could increase to a CAT 3 or higher hurricane as it makes landfall on Florida’s east coast Monday evening into Tuesday morning.
During a major weather event with widespread damage and lengthy outage times, members often question restoration priorities. Utilities are required to first restore power to shelters, hospitals, schools and government agencies like emergency operations centers, fire stations, and law enforcement facilities. The next priority is large commercial accounts that provide food, water and damage-recovery supplies. After these priorities, SECO focuses on restoring the highest volume of members as quickly and safely as possible. Distribution feeders with the highest number of members served are first. Feeders with lower member counts and lateral lines in sparsely populated areas are last to be restored.
Members who require uninterrupted electricity to power life-sustaining devices are urged to have a back-up source for power or make arrangements to go to a shelter. Enroll in the Florida Special Needs Registry by visiting floridadisaster.org. Members should also sign up for county alerts (Alert Citrus, Alert Hernando, Alert Lake, Alert Levy, Alert Marion, Alert Pasco and Alert Sumter). Review SECO Energy’s Hurricane Handbook for preparation tips for before, during and after a storm.
CEO Jim Duncan warns members to prepare for power outages from Hurricane Dorian. Duncan stated, “Hurricane Dorian is shaping up to be a very powerful Category 3 or higher hurricane at landfall. The track indicates that Dorian will travel directly over SECO Energy’s service area. Forecasters are still unsure how long the storm will linger over Florida. Prepare for widespread and lengthy power outages. Even with hundreds of additional contractors coming to engage in emergency restoration, the damage will likely be significant and the restoration process lengthy.”
SECO Energy is watching the progress of Hurricane Dorian as it makes its way closer to a Florida landfall. Forecasters predict that Dorian will make landfall as a CAT 3 or higher hurricane. According to the National Hurricane Center (NHC), Dorian’s current sustained wind speeds are 110 mph and the system continues to move northwest at 12 mph. In less than 24 hours, Hurricane Dorian’s maximum sustained wind speeds increased 25 mph and is predicted to increase.
Models shifted to predict landfall closer to south Florida. The Bahama islands are currently under a Hurricane Watch. The likelihood of Hurricane Dorian impacting SECO Energy’s service territory is high.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, August 28. County Emergency Operations Centers (EOCs) in Citrus, Lake, Marion and Sumter County are monitoring Hurricane Dorian’s impact as well. Sandbag locations have been established in Lake and Marion County. Lake and Marion County have executed a local state of emergency.
StormCenter is SECO Energy’s outage and communications platform for members to report outages, check the status of an existing outage and enroll in outage communications and alerts via email, text, voice or all three. Visit StormCenter today and bookmark on your smartphone or tablet to report outages quickly and easily. Once the hurricane has passed SECO’s area later next week, members should use our Daily Restoration Plan Map to identify if crews are working in their area that day. Visit SECOEnergy.com and click on the home page banner to access the map.