As Progress Energy wraps up power restoration in its own service area today, the company is deploying 530 line and service and tree personnel from the Carolinas and Florida service territories to South Florida to assist in restoration in areas damaged by Hurricane Wilma.
As part of Progress Energy's mutual-aid agreement with the regional utility companies that comprise the Southeastern Electric Exchange (SEE), Progress Energy crews and off-system tree and line crews who had been working in Central Florida to restore Progress Energy Florida customers will depart this week for South Florida. The crews will be assisting Florida Power & Light (FPL) in its restoration efforts. As of 6 a.m. Tuesday, FPL reported more than 3.2 million of its customers were without power.
"Progress Energy Florida's service territory and our customers were spared the worst of Hurricane Wilma," said David McDonald, Progress Energy Florida's system storm coordinator. "Now that we have restored power to all of our customers affected by the storm, we are glad that we can help our neighbors in South Florida recover from Wilma's devastation. Our company and our customers have certainly benefited from our mutual-aid agreements."
Wilma made landfall Monday morning and knocked out power to thousands of Progress Energy Florida customers. Peak impacts occurred shortly after 1 p.m. Monday, with 52,000 customers out of service. The company restored more than 96 percent of the customers who lost power by midnight Monday, and by midmorning Tuesday, about 400 customers remained without power in Highlands County, Progress Energy's southernmost county (making it closest to the path of Hurricane Wilma). All of those customers are expected to be restored shortly. Progress Energy Florida mobilized more than 700 out-of-state crews to assist in the restoration efforts.