TAMPA, Fla. – Tampa Electric, a leading electric utility provider in West Central Florida, is bracing for the imminent arrival of Hurricane Idalia by enlisting the support of thousands of skilled personnel from over 20 states. These individuals are primed to assist in power restoration efforts once the storm subsides.
The company said approximately 3,000 workers, including line crews, tree trimmers, and damage assessors, will converge on Florida to expedite power restoration operations post the hurricane’s passage. These dedicated teams are not just local; they come from far-reaching states like Maine, Missouri, and Texas. Coordinated through the Southeastern Electric Exchange (SEE), a collaborative network of utilities committed to mutual aid during storms and emergencies, this mobilization of personnel underscores the industry’s unity in the face of adversity.
Archie Collins, the President and CEO of Tampa Electric, emphasized the significance of these preparations, stating, “Hurricane Idalia has the potential to cause significant damage, and we are doing everything we can to prepare for a safe restoration. The safety of our customers and employees is our No. 1 priority, and I encourage our customers to prepare for extended power outages. Please stay safe.”
In the event of power outages, Tampa Electric offers various avenues for customers to report and track disruptions:
- Logging into the online account at TecoAccount.com for seamless outage reporting.
- Visiting TampaElectric.com/Outage for outage reporting and restoration updates.
- Sending a text message with OUT to 27079. For updates, text UPDATE or STATUS.
- Calling the dedicated toll-free automated power outage phone system at 1-877-588-1010.
- Subscribing to free outage notifications via text, email, or phone calls at TecoAccount.com/Notifications.
Tampa Electric leverages social media platforms, such as Facebook (@tampaelectric) and X (formerly known as Twitter) (@tampaelectric), to keep customers well-informed about the ongoing restoration efforts.
Post-storm safety tips from Tampa Electric include:
- Maintaining a safe distance from downed power lines and cautioning others to do the same.
- Recognizing the smell of gas (resembling rotten eggs) as a potential sign of a damaged natural gas line. In such instances, evacuating to safety and dialing 911, followed by a call to Peoples Gas at 877-832-6747, is crucial.
- Exercising prudence when using portable generators. Appliances should be directly connected to the generator, avoiding connection to home circuits, which could pose risks to restoration crews.
- Avoiding the use of portable generators indoors to prevent the buildup of deadly carbon monoxide gases.
- Steering clear of floodwaters, as they could conceal live power lines or result in drowning hazards.
Tampa Electric, a stalwart in the Florida energy landscape, caters to over 830,000 customers in West Central Florida. It operates as a subsidiary of Emera Inc., a diverse energy and services company headquartered in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.