Restoring power will take time
After Hurricane Irma left Florida, this morning more than13 million homes and businesses from Key West to Jacksonville are without power. Utility crews from as far away as Pennsylvania are on their way to the Sunshine State to deal with the outages.
Here are some quick numbers to give you an idea of the power issues in the Tampa Bay Area. 78 percent of Pinellas households were affected, 71 percent of Pasco, 62 percent of Hernando; 61 percent of Polk and 42 percent of Hillsborough.
That is a grand total of 1.15 million Bay area households, or 61 percent, without power as of this morning. The really bad news is that in some areas of the Tampa Bay region, power might not be back for more than a week.
Breaking down the area About 1.2 million Duke Energy Florida customers lost power, with Pinellas County hit hardest. They are working hard to restore power as around 420,000 Duke customers were hoping to get power back soon.
Speaking to the media Harry Sideris, president of Duke Energy Florida, said 9,000 extra utility workers have been dispatched to the company’s service area of 35 counties. Of those, 3,000 are dedicated to Pinellas County.
“We have an army of people coming here,” Sideris promised.
Cherie Jacobs, the spokeswoman for Tampa Electric said that the largest number of those without power were in the eastern part of Hillsborough and all of Polk County where at the moment there are 207,316 people were left without power.
You can call them Duke Energy at 1-800-228-8485, Tampa Electric at 1-877-588-1010 and Florida Power at 1-800-226-3545. If at all possible try to use the website, as the phone lines are totally jammed at this time.
All three major power companies are mobilizing to try and fix the power outages as soon as possible. But it will take time as they work their way through each neighborhood one at a time.