Nearly 8,000 Duke Energy workers and additional resources are mobilized, equipped and ready to begin – once conditions safely permit – what is expected to be a lengthy restoration process to repair millions of power outages across Florida resulting from Hurricane Irma.
"We are ready to mobilize a small army of line workers, tree professionals, damage assessors and support personnel who will begin work as soon as we safely can," said Luis Ordaz, Duke Energy Florida storm director. "We expect significant power outages and restoration in some areas could take a week or longer. We will not rest until we get the lights back on for everyone."
Duke Energy Florida serves 1.8 million customers in the state.
Crews will wait to begin their work until wind speeds diminish to the point at which it is safe to operate hundreds of aerial "bucket" trucks and other equipment without endangering workers.
The restoration process
The power restoration process also involves a comprehensive damage assessment during which assessors will survey the company's massive Florida electricity distribution system to assess the damage, which is expected to be severe and widespread as a result of strong winds, downed trees, wind-blown debris and flooding.
That assessment will determine where the company will deploy its workers, equipment and other resources to begin the complex job of power restoration.
Duke Energy will first restore power to critical infrastructure – such as emergency centers, fire stations, hospitals, water treatment and other public safety and health facilities.
At the same time, the company will safely repair major power transmission lines, damaged substations and other large-scale electrical equipment to restore power to the largest number of customers, as quickly as possible.
Work to restore power to small pockets of customers will soon follow the large-scale repairs. We will not stop until all customers are restored. Read more for further details.
Duke Energy thanks community partners
A number of community partners – including fire stations, shopping centers and other facilities – have generously offered their parking lots and buildings to Duke Energy to serve as "base camps" to stage repair trucks and other equipment.
"Duke Energy greatly appreciates our community partners' willingness to assist us during the critical power restoration process" said storm director Ordaz.