Duke Energy Florida brings in additional resources; assessing damage and restoring Hermine outages

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  • More than 1,200 workers assisting in the restoration effort

  • 57,000 outages as of 2 p.m.; more than 146,000 outages already restored

  • Hermine website: www.duke-energy.com/hermine

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Duke Energy Florida is working to safely and quickly respond to Florida customers impacted by Hermine.

As of 2 p.m., approximately 57,000 customers were experiencing power outages and more than 146,000 customers had been restored since the storm began.

The company has adjusted its restoration plans based on the storm’s impact. Additional crews are heading to west coastal Florida to focus on Pinellas County, where Duke has the highest concentration of customers and consequently a large number of outages.

Duke Energy has outages in 31 out of the 35 counties it serves in Florida. More than 1,200 workers have been dispatched throughout the state. Due to the widespread nature of the damage and the geography in some of the impacted areas, the company is continuing to determine restoration times.

Based on dangerous weather conditions and to maintain the safety of Duke Energy crews, the company’s overnight response focused on emergency 911 calls for assistance. Crews also performed restoration work as weather conditions permitted and restoration will continue throughout the day.

“Duke Energy crews and contractors are aggressively responding to the outages caused by Hermine,” said Luis Ordaz, storm director, Duke Energy – Florida. “We prioritize our response and work outages impacting the largest number of customers and essential infrastructure, such as hospitals, law enforcement and fire departments, first.”

A web page dedicated to information about Hermine is now live: www.duke-energy.com/hermine.

One of the biggest challenges with this storm is flooding.

  • If rising water threatens your home—or if you evacuate your home—turn off your power at the circuit breaker panel or fuse box.

  • 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.

  • Never replace a fuse or touch a circuit breaker with wet hands, or while standing on a wet or damp surface.

  • If your 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 necessary repairs and obtain verification from your local building inspection authority before power can be restored.

Outage reporting and status updates

Customers who are without power can report outages in several ways:

  • Visiting our mobile website at m.duke-energy.com

  • Texting OUT to 57801 (Standard text and data charges may apply)

  • Calling the automated outage-reporting system at 800.228.8485

For storm or power restoration updates, follow Duke Energy on Twitter (@DukeEnergy) and Facebook (Duke Energy).

Duke Energy Florida has invested more than $640 million over the last five years and nearly $1.4 billion since 2004 maintaining and strengthening its energy delivery system. These investments include trimming trees, replacing wood transmission structures with steel or concrete and installing grid automation and Smart Grid devices which help to improve service reliability and reduce both the length and number of outages.

Despite system upgrades, maintenance and rigorous tree trimming, severe weather can cause power outages. When outages occur for any reason, Duke Energy is committed to restoring power as safely and quickly as possible, while keeping customers informed throughout the process.

About Duke Energy Florida

Duke Energy Florida owns and operates a diverse generation mix, including renewables, providing about 9,100 megawatts of owned electric capacity to approximately 1.7 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 regulated utility operations serve approximately 7.4 million electric customers located in six states in the Southeast and Midwest, representing a population of approximately 24 million people. Its Commercial Portfolio and International business segments own and operate diverse power generation assets in North America and Latin America, including a growing portfolio of renewable energy assets in the United States.

Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Duke Energy is an S&P 100 Stock Index company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. More information about the company is available at duke-energy.com

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Contact: Ana Gibbs

Twitter: @DE_AnaGibbs