Duke Energy continues power restoration efforts

The company said it should have 90% of its customers restored by Sunday night.

  • West Orange Times & Observer
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Duke Energy Florida expects to have 90% of its outages restored by Sunday night as it works to get a vast majority of customers back on by midnight.

The current estimated time of restoration for 90% of customers in Highlands, Lake, Orange, Osceola, Polk, Seminole and Volusia counties is no later than 11:59 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 2.

Duke Energy has contacted its transmission-served customers with information about their specific restoration time.

“Our crews are working tirelessly to restore power throughout our Florida territory,” Duke Energy Florida State President  Melissa Seixas said. “We aim to have the vast majority of our customers restored by Sunday night. We know there are pockets of hard-hit areas that will require more extensive work. We are grateful for the patience of those without power and we will continue to do everything possible to restore service as quickly as possible.”

As of 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 1, the company has restored more than 861,000 customers, with about 171,000 customers still without power. Duke Energy Florida serves 1.9 million customers in the state.

Reasons why you may not receive power by the expected time
Sometimes, customers may see a neighbor's lights come back on while they are still without power. A few explanations:

• Parts of the neighborhood may be served by different circuits, and not all circuits come back at the same time.
• There may also be a problem with their individual service line or their meter.

If your home or business is flooded, Duke Energy cannot reconnect power until the electrical system has been inspected by a licensed electrician. If there is damage, an electrician will need to make repairs and obtain verification from your local building inspection authority before power can be restored.

If the meter box is pulled away from a customer’s house or mobile home service pole, and power is not being received, the homeowner is responsible for contacting an electrician to reattach the meter box and/or provide a permanent fix. In some instances, an electrical inspection may be required by the county before Duke Energy can reconnect service. An electrician can advise customers on next steps.

For rooftop solar owners, solar panels don't guarantee power during an outage since they operate partly using energy from Duke Energy’s grid. Two exceptions are installing an off-grid solar system or installing a method of energy storage, such as batteries.

10,000 resources in Florida
Duke Energy has 10,000 workers — power line technicians, damage assessors and vegetation workers — across Florida restoring power. Many crews were brought in from other states before the storm.

Localized flooding in some areas has hampered the company’s ability to restore power.

During restoration, workers may not be visible in each impacted neighborhood, as the first priority is to repair large power lines and other infrastructure that will return power to the greatest number of customers as quickly and safely as possible. Click here for information on how Duke Energy restores power.

Keeping customers informed
Customers who experience a power outage can report it the following ways:

• Visit duke-energy.com on a desktop computer or mobile device.
• Use the Duke Energy mobile app – download the Duke Energy App from a smartphone via Apple Store or Google Play.
• Text OUT to 57801 (standard text and data charges may apply).
• Call the automated outage reporting system at 800.228.8485.

There is also an interactive outage map where customers can find up-to-date information on power outages, including the total number of outages systemwide and estimated times of restoration.

The company also will provide regular updates to customers and communities through emails, text messages, outbound phone calls, social media and its website, which includes power outage maps.

Safety recommendations
• Stay away from power lines that have fallen or are sagging. Consider all lines energized, as well as trees, limbs, fences or anything in contact with lines.

• If a power line falls across a car that you're in, stay in the car. If you MUST exit the car due to a fire or other immediate life-threatening situation, do your best to jump clear of the car and land on both feet. Be sure that no part of your body is touching the car when your feet touch the ground.

• A generator can be very useful during a power outage, but remember to always follow the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure safe and proper operation.

• Please watch for utility crews and turn the generator off when crews are in your area. The electrical load on the power lines can be hazardous for crews making repairs.

• Operate your generator outside. Never operate it inside a building or garage.

• Electric current passes easily through water, so stay away from downed power lines and electrical wires. Don't drive over — and don't stand near — downed power lines.



Michael Eng

As a child, Editor and Publisher Michael Eng collected front pages of the Kansas City Star during Operation Desert Storm, so it was a foregone conclusion that he would pursue a career in journalism. He holds a journalism degree from the University of Missouri — Columbia School of Journalism. When he’s not working, you can find him spending time with his wife and three children, or playing drums around town. He’s also a sucker for dad jokes.

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