Powering Strong Communities

Public Power Utility Crews Work to Restore Power to Customers Post-Hurricane Ian

Public power utility crews from various parts of the country that have deployed to Florida are hard at work helping to restore power to customers in the state in the wake of Hurricane Ian.

Ian made its initial landfall near Port Charlotte, Fla., as a category 4 hurricane on September 28 and the Department of Energy on Oct. 2 reported that fewer than one million customer outages remain across all states affected by Hurricane Ian. There were approximately 872,000 customer outages in Florida, 33,000 outages in North Carolina, 11,000 in Virginia, and 3,000 in South Carolina as of 8:00 AM EDT, October 2. Outages in Florida are down approximately 68% from the peak on September 29.

“Devastation caused by Hurricane Ian left more than 2.6 million homes and businesses in Florida without power," said Amy Zubaly, Executive Director, Florida Municipal Electric Association (FMEA), on Sept. 30.

"Twenty-two of Florida’s 33 public power utilities were impacted with peak outages reaching 212,344 customers. As of 3 p.m. today, and within 48 hours of Hurricane Ian’s landfall, Florida public power utilities restored power to more than 61 percent of customers who experienced outages. This is significant progress given the extent of the damage to the system, localized flooding hampering restoration efforts, and extreme wind conditions."

She said Florida public power mobilized a team of more than 750 line resources from 125 utilities in 22 states to assist with restoration efforts. "Crews have been working around the clock to restore power to Florida’s public power communities and will continue to work tirelessly until the remaining 82,108 public power customers are back online."

In an Oct. 3 update, FMEA said that Florida’s public power utilities had restored power to 98 percent of customers who experienced outages following the hurricane. More than 99 percent of the over 1.5 million Florida public power customers are receiving electricity.

“Today, we are nearing full restoration and have gotten power back to most of the customers who can accept service. Given the extensive damage many of our electrical systems sustained and the extreme flooding conditions throughout the state, this is incredible progress,” said Zubaly. “This week is Public Power Week and is a testament to the value of being part of public power’s nationwide network of support. More than 750 line resources from 125 utilities in 22 states have come to our aid to assist with power restoration following Hurricane Ian. Our deepest gratitude to all who answered the call for help.”

Prior to the arrival of Ian, the American Public Power Association (APPA) helped to coordinate the dispatch of crews from outside of Florida to the state. The FMEA was in daily communication with all of Florida’s public power communities to discuss their anticipated needs in advance of and following the storm.

The following public power utilities have sent crews to Florida as of Sept. 30:

  • Cullman Power Board (Alabama)
  • Huntsville Utilities (Alabama)
  • Troy Utilities (Alabama)
  • Sheffield Utilities (Alabama)
  • Fairhope Public Utilities (Alabama)
  • Decatur Utilities (Alabama)
  • Dalton Utilities (Georgia)
  • Lafayette Utilities System (Louisiana)
  • Electric Board of Guntersville (Alabama)
  • Dothan Utilities (Alabama)
  • City of Highland, Illinois
  • Springfield City Water, Light & Power (Illinois)
  • IMEA (Indiana)
  • Muscatine (Iowa)
  • Eldridge (Iowa)
  • Sioux  Center (Iowa)
  • Milford (Iowa)
  • City of Pratt (Kansas)
  • Kansas City Board of Public Utilities (Kansas)
  • City of Winnfield (Louisiana)
  • City of Sturgis (Michigan)
  • Holland Board of Public Works (Michigan)
  • Grand Haven Board of Light & Power (Michigan)
  • Zeeland Board of Public Works (Michigan)
  • Minnesota Municipal Utilities Association
  • Columbus Light & Water (Mississippi)
  • Missouri Public Utility Alliance
  • Lincoln Electric System (Nebraska)
  • City of Grand Island (Nebraska)
  • Omaha Public Power District (Nebraska)
  • GRDA/Skiatook (Oklahoma)
  • Edmond Electric (Oklahoma)
  •  Jackson Energy Authority (Tennessee)
  • Cleveland Utilities (Tennessee)
  • Tullahoma Utilities Authority (Tennessee)
  • Morristown Utilities (Tennessee)
  • Cookeville Utilities (Tennessee)
  • Greenville Utilities Commission (Tennessee)
  • Memphis Light Gas & Water (Tennessee)
  • Austin Energy (Texas)
  • CPS Energy (Texas)
  • Riviera, Alabama
  • Andalusia Utilities, Alabama
  • Opelika Power Services (Alabama)
  • Tuskegee, Alabama
  • City of Baldwin City, Kansas
  • Owensboro Municipal Utility (Kentucky)
  • Paducah Power System (Kentucky)
  • Frankfort EPB (Kentucky)
  • Henderson Municipal Power and Light (Kentucky)
  • NEPPA, New England
  • Littleton, Mass.
  • Lubbock Power & Light, TX
  • Denton, TX
  • Kerrville Public Utility Board, TX
  • MEUW (Wisconsin)
  • Marshfield Utilities (Wisconsin)
  • Arcadia (Wisconsin)
  • Black Earth (Wisconsin)
  • Cedarburg (Wisconsin)
  • Elkhorn (Wisconsin)
  • Fennimore (Wisconsin)
  • Hartford (Wisconsin)
  • Jefferson (Wisconsin)
  • Kaukauna (Wisconsin)
  • Marshfield (Wisconsin)
  • Mazomanie (Wisconsin)
  • Muscoda (Wisconsin)
  • New Lisbon (Wisconsin)
  • Manitowoc (Wisconsin)
  • Oconto Falls (Wisconsin)
  • Plymouth (Wisconsin)
  • Rice Lake (Wisconsin)
  • Richland Center (Wisconsin)
  • Shawano (Wisconsin)
  • Stoughton (Wisconsin)
  • Sun Prairie (Wisconsin)
  • Waunakee (Wisconsin)
  • Wisconsin Rapids (Wisconsin)
  • Oconomowoc  (Wisconsin)
  • Traverse City Light & Power (Michigan)

    Crews Also Deployed to South Carolina

    Public power crews also deployed to South Carolina prior to the arrival of Ian to assist Santee Cooper.

    Public power utilities from Georgia that sent crews to South Carolina are: Lafayette, Marietta, Calhoun, Cartersville, Fort Valley, Covington, Newnan, and La Grange.

    The following public power utilities from Tennessee deployed to South Carolina: Athens Utilities Board, Sevier County Electric and LaFollette Utilities.

    On Sept. 29, Santee Cooper said it was bracing for the anticipated effects that Hurricane Ian may have on Santee Cooper’s service territory.  As of 2 p.m. that day, Santee Cooper went to Operating Condition (OpCon) 1 alert status.

    This means a significant threat to Santee Cooper’s electric system is imminent or has occurred and effects are expected to be widespread.