Duke Energy Florida to respond and restore electric service after Irma

Written By: Stratton Report
September 8, 2017


On Sept. 8, 2017, Duke Energy Florida will mobilize approximately 7,000 lineworkers, tree professionals, damage assessment and support personnel to safe locations prepared to respond to outages once Hurricane Irma reaches Florida.

Assistance from across the U.S. and Canada, including company resources from the Midwest, is on the way to assist with restoration efforts. Crews and equipment should be staged close to the state of Florida on Saturday and Sunday. The staging area affords rapid response but provides enough distance to ensure the safety of our crews and resources.

Duke Energy, through the Southeastern Electric Exchange (a mutual assistance organization), has agreements with other utilities and contract companies to ensure the necessary resources can be brought to Florida from throughout the Southeast.

“Due to the tremendous size and strength of the hurricane, our No. 1 concern is the safety of our customers and crews,” said Luis Ordaz, Duke Energy Florida storm director. “Hurricane Irma is a major storm capable of causing significant damage. As we prepare to respond, it’s important our customers take Hurricane Irma seriously and ensure their families are safe.”

In addition to making safety a priority, customers should also prepare for significant, widespread power outages. Despite extensive system improvements and rigorous tree trimming, strong winds, wind-blown debris and flooding can cause power outages. After the hurricane has passed and conditions are safe for travel, workers will be deployed immediately to make repairs and restore electric service as safely and quickly as possible.

Duke Energy meteorologists will continue to monitor the movement of Hurricane Irma and are developing up-to-the-minute forecasts to help the company plan and prepare.

Max Thompson, Duke Energy meteorologist noted,

We are closely watching Hurricane Irma to determine its specific impact to Florida. Irma is one of the most powerful storms we’ve seen in the Atlantic since we started keeping records. While the track of the storm could still change, it is important for people who live in its potential path to make plans now and prepare their homes and families.

Duke Energy has a detailed storm response plan. As part of our preparation for Hurricane Irma, we are checking equipment, supplies and inventories to ensure we have adequate materials to make repairs and restore power outages.