TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Amid widespread power outages caused by Hurricane Ian, Tampa Electric Company said they expect to restore the majority of their affected customers’ power by Sunday night.

In a statement sent out by the utility company, TECO said parts of Polk County and eastern Hillsborough County should be restored by Monday night, though some customers with “more complex damage” could take longer to get the power back on.

Power crews across Florida and from multiple utility companies had prepared thousands of workers ahead of the storm to get to work as it passed through.

TECO crews started working to restore power “early” on Thursday morning. The electric company said damage from Hurricane Ian “was extensive” with ” about 295,000 of TECO’s more than 810,000 customers were impacted by the storm.” According to TECO, “power has already been restored to more than 126,000 customers, or 43% of those affected,” as of 1 p.m. Friday.

“We are making significant progress around the clock to restore power, and we won’t stop until we’ve restored every customer,” Archie Collins, TECO president and CEO, said. “We know that customers are trying to get life back to normal, and having electricity is a key part of that. Thank you for your patience.”

TECO said power crew members had come to Florida from Oklahoma, Texas, and Indiana to assist Tampa Electric’s crews. The personnel include lineworkers, tree trimmers, and damage assessors. For customers still without power, TECO said to use the following methods to report outages:

  • The fastest, easiest way to report an outage is to visit tecoaccount.com/outage.
  • Also, enroll in Power Updates from tecoaccount.com to text outage reports or get service updates via text, phone or email.
  • Update the phone number and email associated with your account at www.tecoaccount.com/yourprofile. This helps when you report an outage.
  • Residential and commercial customers may call Tampa Electric’s dedicated toll-free automated power outage phone system at 1-877-588-1010 to report a power outage or electric emergency.

The company said they’ll also be posting updates on their outage map and on their Twitter account. As of 3:41 p.m. on Friday, TECO reported 159,209 customers were still without power. Updates are reported on their site every five minutes.

Additionally, TECO reminded customers to be cautious after the storm, giving tips on safety. They also warned against scammers pretending to work for TECO.

  • Remember to keep away from downed power lines and urge others to be extremely cautious. Downed lines should be reported to TECO immediately at 813-223-0800.
  • Smell gas? Act fast. The odor of rotten eggs is an indicator that a natural gas line might be damaged. Immediately move to safety and call 911, then call Peoples Gas at 877-832-6747. Emergency calls are answered 24/7/365.
  • Remember to use portable generators safely. Plug your appliances directly into the generator. DO NOT connect your portable generator into your home’s circuits. Connecting your generator to the circuits may cause power to flow to outside lines, posing life-threatening danger to restoration crews. If you are unsure, please consult with a licensed electrician.
  • Portable generators must not be taken into homes or any enclosed space (like a garage) where deadly carbon monoxide gas could build up.
  • Stay out of floodwaters, as they can hide energized power lines or put you at risk of drowning.