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Tampa Electric has Secured Thousands of Workers; Making Final Preparations for Ian

Sept. 28, 2022
More than 3,000 workers, including line crews, tree trimmers and damage assessors, are traveling to Florida to help Tampa Electric restore power after the storm passes.

In advance of Hurricane Ian, Tampa Electric has secured about 3,000 people from a dozen states to help restore power after the storm passes. And in anticipation of potential storm surge, the company is evaluating whether to interrupt service beginning this afternoon to two small portions of downtown Tampa under mandatory evacuation.

More than 3,000 workers, including line crews, tree trimmers and damage assessors, are traveling to Florida to help Tampa Electric restore power after the storm passes. Tampa Electric is a member of the Southeastern Electric Exchange, or SEE, which is a network of utilities that pledges mutual assistance in case of storm or other emergencies.

Crews are traveling from 13 states, including Oklahoma, Texas and Indiana, to help Tampa Electric. Many will begin arriving today in Central Florida, and crews will remain outside of the storm’s path until it is safe to begin working.

“Hurricane Ian has the potential to cause significant destruction, and we are doing everything we can to prepare for a safe restoration,” said Archie Collins, president and chief executive officer of Tampa Electric. “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.”

Hurricane Ian is expected to bring strong winds, heavy rain and potential storm surge to Florida’s west coast starting Wednesday. Tampa Electric’s first priority is the safety of customers and employees, and the company urges residents to follow local evacuation orders.

Beginning later today, the company may interrupt electric service to a small area of downtown Tampa. By proactively shutting down certain parts of the network ahead of the storm, Tampa Electric can avoid serious damage to the underground equipment from saltwater storm surge. This will significantly shorten restoration time after the storm. Tampa Electric has communicated with affected customers to minimize the inconvenience. The affected area is under a mandatory evacuation order.

The proactive outage is expected to affect the western edge of downtown, including the Straz Center for the Performing Arts, Holiday Inn (Barrymore Hotel), Barnett Bank (Tampa Bay Times Building), Hillsborough Regional Transit (drawbridge) and the City Hall Annex.

The company is also considering a targeted interruption in the southern tip of downtown Tampa, which includes the residential customers on Harbor Island, two Channelside hotels, the transportation center and Davis Island excluding Tampa General Hospital. This decision could be made as late as Wednesday and will depend on surge conditions.​

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