Duke Energy crosses the 1 million mark for customers restored in Florida

Share This Story

  • More than 1 million customers restored; nearly 375,000 still without power

  • Over 12,700 workers restoring service in Florida

  • One thousand miles of power lines and more than 3,000 power poles being replaced

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- In less than three days, Duke Energy has restored more than 1 million customers who lost power as a result of Hurricane Irma in Florida.

Nearly 375,000 Duke Energy customers are still without power in the state. More than 12,700 workers are working to quickly and safely restore service.

"We are making significant progress getting power back on for our customers," said Harry Sideris, Duke Energy Florida president. "We're glad to have restored 1 million customers, but we won't be happy until all customers have power. We thank all of our customers for their patience and will not stop working until the job is done."

Sideris added that over 3,000 power poles, more than 1,100 transformers and more than 1,000 miles of wire are being replaced due to storm damage.

For latest outage information and other company updates, visit news.duke-energy.com/irma.

Times of restoration

As crews respond to make repairs and restore service, specific estimated times of restoration will be updated for individual areas and customers.  Currently, the company expects to complete power restoration to customers following areas:

  • By midnight Friday, Sept. 15: The western portion of its service area. This includes Pinellas and Pasco counties
  • By midnight Sunday, Sept. 17: central and northern portions of the service area. This includes Alachua, Bay, Brevard, Citrus, Columbia, Dixie, Flagler, Franklin, Gilchrist, Gulf, Hamilton, Hernando, Jefferson, Lafayette, Lake, Leon, Levy, Madison, Marion, Orange, Osceola, Polk, Seminole, Sumter, Suwannee, Taylor, Volusia, and Wakulla counties.
  • Restoration in the severely impacted areas of Hardee and Highlands County may extend beyond Sunday due to rebuilding the electrical system that suffered significant damage in those areas.

Crews are focused on restoring the largest number of customers each day. In some cases, service may be delayed for customers where the electrical meter or other customer equipment is damaged and requires repair and inspection.

The most Duke Energy customers without power at any given time was 1.28 million customers on Monday, Sept. 11 at 3 p.m. Duke Energy serves 1.8 million customers in Florida.

The Duke Energy Foundation is donating $250,000 to the Florida Disaster Fund. The fund, administered by the Volunteer Florida Foundation, is the State of Florida's official private fund established to assist Florida's communities in times of disaster.

Outage reporting and status updates
At any time, customers without power can report their outage by:

  • Texting OUT to 57801 (standard text and data charges may apply)
  • Call the automated outage reporting system at 800.228.8485.

Restoration process

After assessing damage, Duke Energy will first restore power to critical infrastructure – such as emergency centers, fire stations, hospitals, water treatment and other public safety and health facilities.

The company simultaneously will safely repair major power transmission lines, damaged substations and other large-scale electrical equipment to restore power to the largest number of customers, as quickly as possible.

Work to restore power to small pockets of customers will soon follow the large-scale repairs. For customers in the hardest-hit areas that require rebuilding the system, this may take a week or more. Read more for further details.

Duke Energy is working closely with local emergency management officials and public safety agencies in multiple Florida cities and towns, ensuring a coordinated and collaborative damage assessment and power restoration process.

Watch and download drone footage of power restoration in Florida.

Downed power lines are hazardous 

Duke Energy reminds customers and the public to stay away from downed power lines that have fallen or are sagging, and to consider all power lines – and trees, limbs or anything in contact with power lines – energized and dangerous.

If a power line falls across a vehicle you're in, stay in the car. If you MUST get out of the car due to a fire or other immediate life-threatening situation, try 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.

Customers using generators

If you use a generator at home to provide power until your service is restored, 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 dangerous for crews making repairs. The excess electricity created by a generator can feed back onto the electric lines, severely injuring a line technician who might be working on a power line, believing it to be de-energized.

Read other tips for using a generator.

About Duke Energy Florida
Duke Energy Florida owns and operates a diverse generation mix, including renewables, providing about 8,800 megawatts of owned electric capacity to approximately 1.8 million customers in a 13,000-square-mile service area.

With its Florida regional headquarters located in St. Petersburg, Fla., Duke Energy is one of the largest electric power holding companies in the United States. Its Electric Utilities and Infrastructure business unit serves approximately 7.5 million customers located in six states in the Southeast and Midwest. The company's Gas Utilities and Infrastructure business unit distributes natural gas to approximately 1.6 million customers in the Carolinas, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee. Its Commercial Renewables business unit operates a growing renewable energy portfolio across the United States.

Duke Energy is a Fortune 125 company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. More information about the company is available at duke-energy.com

The Duke Energy News Center serves as a multimedia resource for journalists and features news releases, helpful links, photos and videos. Hosted by Duke Energy, illumination is an online destination for stories about people, innovations, and community and environmental topics. It also offers glimpses into the past and insights into the future of energy.

Follow Duke Energy on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook.