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Hurricane Idalia: Response and Restoration

Aug. 31, 2023
Lineworkers are coming together to restore power following the Florida hurricane.

When a hurricane makes landfall, lineworkers are standing by ready to help. Crews were pre-positioned to support the impacted utilities following Hurricane Idalia, which made landfall in Florida this week. 

More than 25,000 workers from at least 19 states and D.C. were mobilized to support power restoration according to this EEI update.

Restoring Power
Duke Energy Florida restored power to more than 135,000 customers in the early aftermath of the storm. The utility aimed to have 95 percent of its impacted customers restored by Wednesday, Aug. 30., except for those in the hardest hit areas. For example, some of its customers couldn't receive power due to damage or flooding. 

“We know this is a time of stress and loss for many Floridians,” said Todd Fountain, Duke Energy Florida storm director. “Our crews, contractors and support staff have made great progress restoring power to many customers today, we know we have more work to do in our hardest-hit areas. We will not stop until all customers who can safely receive power are restored. We thank our customers for their patience during this challenging time.”

In the areas that were directly in Idalia’s path, the utility notified its customers that the restoration resources may need to wait for flood waters to recede before they can assess damage to the system.

Intensifying Response Efforts in Hard-Hit Areas

On Aug. 31, Duke Energy Florida announced it was intensifying restoration efforts for customers who experienced the worst of Hurricane Idalia’s wrath. More than 5,000 lineworkers, tree professionals, damage assessors and support personnel were assessing damages in communities still left without power in the powerful storm’s wake.

More than 150,000 had their power restored as of the evening of Aug. 29, and by 3 p.m. on Aug. 31, Duke Energy had restored power to 156,000 customers. Following a thorough assessment of damage from Hurricane Idalia, Duke Energy Florida will restore 95% of customers who experienced the worst of the storm no later than 11:30 p.m. on Sept. 3.

The storm’s extensive damage, including in areas impacted directly by Idalia’s landfall, will require more time for damage assessment and restoration. Conditions are heavily flooded, and main lines and customers are spread out across many miles in this part of north Florida.

“We appreciate the patience of those still without service,” Fountain says “We understand how difficult it is to be without power. Our crews continue to work hard to get everyone back on as quickly and safely as possible. We ask customers to remain vigilant as they recover from this powerful storm.”

For customers whose home or business is flooded, Duke Energy cannot reconnect power until the electrical system has been inspected by a licensed electrician. If there is damage, an electrician will need to make repairs and obtain verification from the local building inspection authority before power can be restored.

If the meter box is pulled away from a customer’s house or mobile home service pole and power is not being received, the homeowner is responsible for contacting an electrician to reattach the meter box and/or provide a permanent fix. In some i

For more information, stay tuned to T&D World's website or visit the Duke Energy outage map

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