In Pictures: Gulf Power, FPL Crews Restore Power After Sally Sweeps Through

Sept. 21, 2020
Some pictures of the crews who are hard at work to restore power in Pensacola, Florida and other areas following Hurricane Sally's impact

Hurricane Sally’s strong winds, storm surge and flooding have devastated Florida, snarling roads with evacuee traffic and damaging the power grid. Crews are working day and night to restore power to the more than 50,000 homes and businesses that were cut off even as downed trees and standing water are cutting workers off from their work.

Gulf Power has continued to make progress in restoring power, with more than 90% of affected customers restored. In Escambia County, the hardest hit of all of Gulf Power’s service area, more than 85% of customers have been restored.

“Our crews have continued to make good progress and, in many cases, they have exceeded our original estimated restoration times,” said Marlene Santos, president of Gulf Power. “Our entire workforce is focused on restoring service for those customers hardest hit in Escambia County. You have our commitment that we will continue to work around the clock until every customer is restored.”

Gulf Power has a workforce of nearly 7,000 that are committed to the power restoration effort. Heavy rain which unfortunately continues throughout the southeast, and subsequent flooding will continue to be one of the biggest impacts; flooding must recede before some areas, particularly those with underground service, can be accessed and repairs can be made to electrical equipment, which can result in restoration challenges.

“We are fortunate to be part of the FPL family, and we are thankful that they have sent 1,800 team members to assist us in restoring power,” added Santos. “FPL has extensive experience in restoring power following hurricanes which will be tremendously beneficial to our restoration effort. Customers should keep safety their top priority and stay away from flooding and downed lines.”

As crews complete restoration efforts in some areas and converge on the hardest-hit areas, there will be more and more trucks on the roads and in neighborhoods throughout Escambia County and, especially, Pensacola.

“One of the reasons we’ve been able to progress more quickly is because our crews have been able to be more productive by being housed closer to where they need to work,” said Santos. “We couldn’t have achieved this without the support of the many businesses who have helped provide space for thousands of our storm crew members. The YMCA in downtown Pensacola, Pensacola Fairgrounds, Pensacola State College and Ellyson Industrial are just a few of the businesses that have supported us through this effort.”

About the Author

Jeff Postelwait | Senior Editor

Jeff Postelwait is a writer and editor with a background in newspapers and online editing who has been writing about the electric utility industry since 2008. Jeff is senior editor for T&D World magazine and sits on the advisory board of the T&D World Conference and Exhibition. Utility Products, Power Engineering, Powergrid International and Electric Light & Power are some of the other publications in which Jeff's work has been featured. Jeff received his degree in journalism news editing from Oklahoma State University and currently operates out of Oregon.

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