Disaster Response

Fla. restoration efforts make solid progress; Tallahassee at 90 percent restored

Public power utilities in Florida on Oct. 15 were closing in on completing power restoration efforts in the wake of Hurricane Michael, which made landfall in the state on Oct. 10 as a Category 4 hurricane.

With restoration efforts wrapping up, utilities in Florida and other states affected by the third most powerful storm to hit the U.S. were preparing to begin work on transmission and distribution system rebuilding efforts.

The Florida Municipal Electric Association on the morning of Oct. 15 reported that approximately 16,500 north Florida public power utility customers remained without power following Hurricane Michael, with power restoration efforts continuing day and night.

Significant progress has been made in the City of Tallahassee, which is 90 percent restored (approximately 10,000 customers were without power), and in the Town of Havana, 100 percent of customers who can accept power have been restored, FMEA said.

In its Oct. 15 edition, the New York Times published an article about power restoration efforts that included an update on Tallahassee from Amy Zubaly, FMEA’s executive director, and the public power city of Blountstown, Fla., from city manager Traci Hall.

As of the morning of Oct. 15, 100 percent of customers in Blountstown remained without power and transmission was still down. The transmission feed is from investor-owned Gulf Power and the utility has reported that it hopes to have the line restored by Oct. 18.

Blountstown continued to work on the rebuild while awaiting the transmission line repair and the city hopes to have 50% of eligible customers back by Oct. 19.

The transmission line that feeds the cities of Quincy and Chattahoochee was restored on Sunday, Oct. 14, enabling power restoration efforts to progress to essential facilities followed by business and residential customers. As of the morning of Oct. 15, 74 percent of Chattahoochee’s customers were without power and 84 percent of Quincy’s customers were without power.

Prior to the arrival of Hurricane Michael, FMEA activated its network of mutual aid calling on public power and investor-owned utilities to send crews, equipment and other resources to Florida to assist with power restoration efforts after the storm.

As of Oct. 15, there were 567 power restoration personnel from 16 states (including Florida) and 83 individual utilities helping to restore power to the public power utilities affected by Hurricane Michael. 

Other states

Meanwhile, restoration progress continues to be made in other states hit by Michael. Electric Cities of Alabama reported that as of the morning of Oct. 15, the city of Dothan was down to 2,200 customers without power and work in Dothan was expected to be wrapped up on Oct. 15.

In Georgia, as of the morning of Oct. 15, Electric Cities of Georgia reported that a few communities were wrapping up restoration efforts Oct. 15-16. The focus will be on the hardest hit public power utilities of Albany, Thomasville and Crisp County.

ElectriCities of North Carolina reported about a dozen outages that would be taken care of the morning of Oct. 15 and was and sending crews to southern Virginia.  Its crews finished in Martinsville, Va., the night of Oct. 14 and then proceeded to Danville, Va., to help complete work in that city.

In Martinsville, every customer that can get power has been restored and Danville had about 1,500 still without power as Oct. 15.

DOE situation report

In a situation report released the afternoon of Oct. 15, the U.S. Department of Energy reported customer outage figures for the following states as of 3:00 p.m. EDT:

  • Alabama: 3,560 customer outages (0.1%), decrease of 3% since last report
  • Florida: 150,898 customer outages (1.5%), decrease of 10% since last report
  • Georgia: 84,835 customer outages (1.8%), decrease of 19% since last report
  • North Carolina: 26,041 customer outages (0.5%), decrease of 23% since last report
  • Virginia: 24,003 customer outages (0.6%), decrease of 22% since last report

Association continues to monitor effects of Michael

The American Public Power Association continues to monitor Michael and as of Oct. 14 the response falls under the category of a Mutual Aid Playbook activation level 3 (regional event).

The Association is also coordinating daily conference calls with relevant public power coordinators who provide updates on restoration efforts and outage totals.

For updates on Michael and details on Association mutual aid resources, click here.