Late Thursday night and early Friday morning, Hurricane Hermine pounded SECO’s service territory with buckets of rain and high winds as it sped toward the Florida Panhandle. In addition to the storms, WESH Channel 2 advised at least one tornado touched down in Sumter County near Webster. This event began a series of weather-related outages for SECO Energy members in the storm’s path.
At the height of the high winds and rainfall, approximately 7,500 members were without power. As of 8 a.m. on Friday, the outages were reduced to under 3,000 members out. As of 7 p.m. on Friday, SECO has less than 100 members without power.
Hurricane Hermine brought damage across the state, including broken trees and utility poles, flooding, roadway debris and at least one death in Marion County. Earlier today, NBC News reported that more than 250,000 consumers across the state are without power. Fortunately, most SECO Energy members weren’t affected with power outages due to an expertly designed, soundly built and well maintained system whose reliability is enhanced by an aggressive vegetation management program.
Vice President of Corporate Communications & Energy Services Kathryn Gloria stated, “SECO continually maintains, inspects and upgrades its system to provide the most reliable power possible to our members. SECO is Storm Ready – it prepared well in advance for the possibility of Hurricane Hermine and its impact on our service area. SECO continued to update members this week about Hurricane Hermine’s projected path and status and warned members to be prepared for outages if the storm made landfall near our area.”
Part of SECO’s strategy included pairing a tree trimming crew with a line crew during restoration. As of 7 p.m. on Friday, there were less than 100 SECO members whose service has yet to be restored. SECO is continuing its emergency restoration plan until every member on the system is restored. SECO predicts the remainder of members’ service will be restored before midnight Friday – unless additional storms on the tail of Hurricane Hermine come into play.
As a not-for-profit electric cooperative, SECO is dedicated to being its members’ first source for storm information. “Like” SECO’s Facebook page and “follow” the company on Twitter for the latest news releases and cooperative updates.