BREVARD COUNTY UNDER HURRICANE WATCH
WUSF.COM – Outages more than doubled since Hurricane Ian made landfall along the Gulf coast of Florida on Wednesday afternoon.
At noon, around 200,000 Floridians were without power with 45 counties experiencing outages. By 6 p.m., that number surged to nearly 1.4 million.
More than 80 percent of Sarasota County was without power as of 6 p.m., with 232,710 reported power outages — the second-highest total in the state, second only to Lee County reporting more than 400,000 outages. Another 46 percent of households reported being without power in Manatee County, reporting 108,551 outages.
Power outages also extend farther north, in the Tampa Bay region. At 6 p.m,. that included 126,131 reported outages in Hillsborough County, 70,028 reported outages in Pinellas County and 38,553 in Polk County.
By the Numbers: Power outage data is published by the Florida Public Service Commission every three hours on Twitter at @floridapcs.
Florida Power and Light Co. provides service, in part, to these counties: Sarasota, Manatee, DeSoto, Hardee and Highlands. Residents can also monitor real-time power outages here.
Duke Energy is a primary power provider for the greater Tampa Bay region and Central Florida, including Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, Polk, Highlands, Hardee and Hernando counties.
Polk County is also serviced by Lakeland Electric, from Polk City to Highland city, and the Peace River Electric Cooperative, Withlacoochee River Electric Cooperative and Tampa Electric Company (TECO).
Monitoring and reporting outages
If you have internet access, outages can be monitored on these major power providers’ websites:
TECO is experiencing website issues due to high traffic volume. Residents can receive updates on Twitter at @TampaElectric, or by calling 877-588-1010.
If your power is provided by a cooperative or municipal government in the greater Tampa Bay region, you can monitor outage updates on these websites:
To assist Florida households and emergency personnel experiencing power outages Comcast’s network is offering roughly 90,000 public Xfinity hotspots. Hotspots are free and available to non-Xfinity customers. Register here: https://www.xfinity.com/response.
Power providers ask that residents report any outages they are experiencing.
■ Report outages with Florida Power and Light Company here, or call 1-800-468-8243. To report a downed power line, call 1-800-4OUTAGE.
■ Report outages with Duke Energy here, call 800-228-8485 or text “OUT” to 57801
■ Report outages with TECO here, or call 877-588-1010.
Official guidance: During a press conference on Wednesday, Gov. Ron DeSantis addressed the climbing power outages.
“Not every power outage is going to be created equal,” he said.
In some areas, power will be restored with typical repairs, like reconnecting fallen power lines. But in some cases, DeSantis warned, more substantial reconstruction will be required.
The Category 4-level winds and rain have likely caused serious damage to the infrastructure that provides power in some counties, DeSantis said.
With the strength and severity of the storm, Floridians in some areas should expect extended power outages.
Restoring Power : Florida Power and Light Co. said there’s nearly 16,000 operators and technicians working “around the clock” to restore power safely to customers.
Duke Energy, which primarily services counties in the greater Tampa Bay region, announced Tuesday that 10,000 line workers, tree professionals and other personnel were mobilized ahead of the storm.
Officials advise residents to report any outages and monitor their website portal for updates.
“If you’re not seeing an update for your location, it’s because our crews haven’t yet been able to access the area or assess the damage. But please know that we are working wherever conditions allow,” operators wrote in a tweet.
Around 7 p.m., TECO and Lakeland Electric announced they are suspending power restoration until dangerous wind speeds subside.
“Please be aware we are expecting extended restoration times as our crews cannot safely be dispatched until winds are reduced to under 40 mph,” according to a tweet responding to a customer.
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