ST. PETERSBURG, FLA. - Tropical Storm Isaac brought gusting wind and heavy rain to the Gulf Coast of Florida, but didn't cause widespread power outages to Progress Energy Florida customers.
As of 11 a.m. Monday, fewer than 1,000 customers in Progress Energy's 35-county service territory were without power. More than 15,000 customers have been restored following repeated waves of heavy rain and high winds in the region. Tropical Storm Isaac's track to the northwest and further into the Gulf of Mexico has helped to mitigate damage in Progress Energy Florida's territory.
"Forecasts show the outer bands of Tropical Storm Isaac will continue to bring rain and wind to the Tampa Bay area today and up through the Panhandle into Wednesday," said Jason Cutliffe, storm director for Progress Energy Florida. "While heavy rainfall and storm surge can cause flooding in low-lying areas, the brunt of the impact will not be seen in Florida. We are releasing hundreds of line workers and tree contractors who came to Florida over the weekend to help ensure adequate resources where it appears Isaac will make landfall."
About 250 off-system crews secured through the Southeastern Electric Exchange (SEE) will remain in Franklin and Pinellas counties to handle any remaining bands of unstable weather as well as any needs related to the Republican National Convention under way in the Tampa Bay area. Progress Energy Florida is a member of the SEE, a network of utilities that assist each other during storms or other emergencies.
The utility's storm planning and deployment was also enhanced by Progress Energy's recent merger with Duke Energy. The combined company's size and strength increases Progress Energy Florida's ability to plan for and respond to storms quickly and efficiently.
While the worst of the storm is skirting Progress Energy Florida's territory, outages may still occur. The quickest way to report an outage is to call the company's automated outage-reporting system at 800-228-8485. Customers may also report outages using computers and compatible mobile devices at progress-energy.com/storm.
During the storm, Progress Energy Florida's online outage map is updated several times a day to show outages and estimated restoration times. The outage map can be viewed at www.progress-energy.com/outagemap.
The utility also sends updates on storm-related outage restorations via Twitter and Facebook. Customers can follow the utility at www.twitter.com/ProgEnergyFL and www.facebook.com/ProgressEnergyFlorida.
For additional storm information, visit www.progress-energy.com/storm.
Progress Energy Florida
Progress Energy Florida, a subsidiary of Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK), 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. More information is available at www.progress-energy.com.
Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Duke Energy is a Fortune 250 company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. More information about the company is available at: www.duke-energy.com.