Damage assessments continue following the restoration of power to more than 150,000 customers
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Duke Energy Florida is intensifying restoration efforts for customers who experienced the worst of Hurricane Idalia’s wrath, as more than 5,000 lineworkers, tree professionals, damage assessors and support personnel assess damages in communities still left without power in the powerful storm’s wake.
While more than 150,000 had their power restored since Tuesday evening, the storm’s extensive damage, including in areas impacted directly by Idalia’s landfall, will require more time for damage assessment and restoration as conditions are heavily flooded and main lines and customers are spread out across many miles in this part of North Florida.
Duke Energy Florida expects to have more information available for remaining customers in the hardest-hit areas later today.
- Duke Energy Florida customers in the hardest-hit areas include Alachua, Columbia, Dixie, Gilchrist, Hamilton, Jefferson, Lafayette, Leon, Levy, Madison, Suwannee, Taylor and Wakulla counties. Those customers will be provided more information by 5 p.m.
- The majority of impacted customers, outside of the counties listed above, have had their service restored. Remaining customers who can safely receive power can expect to have their service restored by noon today.
- For customers whose 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 the 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.
“We appreciate the patience of those still without service,” said Todd Fountain, Duke Energy Florida storm director. “We understand how difficult it is to be without power. Our crews continue to work hard to get everyone back on as quickly and safely as possible. We ask customers to remain vigilant as they recover from this powerful storm.”
Important safety tips
- 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.
- 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.
- Downed lines will be hard to see in the rain and can potentially be hidden in standing water. If you encounter large pools of standing water, stop, back up and choose another path.
The company will continue to provide regular updates to customers and communities through emails, text messages, outbound phone calls, social media and its website, which includes the power outage map.
Duke Energy Florida
Duke Energy Florida, a subsidiary of Duke Energy, owns 10,500 megawatts of energy capacity, supplying electricity to 1.9 million residential, commercial and industrial customers across a 13,000-square-mile service area in Florida.
Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK), a Fortune 150 company headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., is one of America’s largest energy holding companies. Its electric utilities serve 8.2 million customers in North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky, and collectively own 50,000 megawatts of energy capacity. Its natural gas unit serves 1.6 million customers in North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Ohio and Kentucky. The company employs 27,600 people.
Duke Energy is executing an aggressive clean energy transition to achieve its goals of net-zero methane emissions from its natural gas business by 2030 and net-zero carbon emissions from electricity generation by 2050. The company has interim carbon emission targets of at least 50% reduction from electric generation by 2030, 50% for Scope 2 and certain Scope 3 upstream and downstream emissions by 2035, and 80% from electric generation by 2040. In addition, the company is investing in major electric grid enhancements and energy storage, and exploring zero-emission power generation technologies such as hydrogen and advanced nuclear.
Duke Energy was named to Fortune’s 2023 “World’s Most Admired Companies” list and Forbes’ “World’s Best Employers” list. More information is available at duke-energy.com. The Duke Energy News Center contains news releases, fact sheets, photos and videos. Duke Energy’s illumination features stories about people, innovations, community topics and environmental issues. Follow Duke Energy on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook.
Contact: Audrey Stasko