St. Petersburg, Florida June 27, 2012–
Progress Energy Florida repair crews are still working hard to restore the power to those affected by Tropical Storm Debby.
Despite flooding and storm debris that have complicated repair efforts in many areas, by Wednesday afternoon Progress Energy crews had restored electric service to more than 98 percent of the 281,000 customers affected by the storm. More than 1,000 contractors and workers from other utilities have been brought in to help with restoration efforts. The largest areas affected are in Pasco County and St. George Island, off the coast of the Florida Panhandle.
In Pasco County, flooding in the Seven Springs area forced the evacuation of residents. County officials requested that Progress Energy cut power in some areas for safety reasons due to standing water. As of Wednesday at 3 p.m., approximately 1,000 customers in Pasco County remained without power. Progress Energy continues to work closely with county officials to restore power as quickly and safely as possible.
In Franklin County, the storm took out three power poles carrying the line that supplies electricity to St. George Island. Crews are working to restore power by expediting the final stage of a multi-year transmission line replacement project. Expediting the new line project will result in a quicker repair than replacing the damaged power poles crossing St. George Sound. The company hopes to have the new line energized by the end of the day Friday. Under the original plan, electric service was to be switched to the upgraded, storm-hardened line on July 9. The company has replaced more than 38 miles of high-voltage transmission lines running from Port St. Joe to Eastpoint and out to St. George Island to improve service and strengthen the line against storms. (NOTE: A photo of today’s helicopter work on this line is available by request.)
Customers still without power should report their individual outage by calling 1.800.228.8485. Using the company’s automated reporting system ensures each outage is captured in the restoration plan and will allow Progress Energy to provide restoration time estimates and updates to individual customers.
For more restoration and safety information, visit www.progress-energy.com/storm or follow Progress Energy Florida on Facebook and Twitter.
Progress Energy Florida, a subsidiary of Progress Energy (NYSE: PGN), provides electricity and related services to more than 1.6 million customers in Florida. The company is headquartered in St. Petersburg, Fla., and serves a territory encompassing more than 20,000 square miles, including the cities of St. Petersburg and Clearwater, as well as the Central Florida area surrounding Orlando. Progress Energy Florida is pursuing a balanced approach to meeting the future energy needs of the region. That balance includes increased energy-efficiency programs, investments in renewable energy technologies and a state-of-the-art electricity system. For more information about Progress Energy, visit www.progress-energy.com.