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Gulf Power responding to outages caused by Hurricane Sally

Gulf Power offers an update on its efforts to restore power to its customers impacted by Hurricane Sally.
Gulf Power offers an update on its efforts to restore power to its customers impacted by Hurricane Sally.(GULF POWER)
Published: Sep. 16, 2020 at 9:55 PM CDT
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PENSACOLA, Fla. (PRESS RELEASE) -

Gulf Power responding to outages caused by Hurricane Sally

  • More than 50,000 customers restored as of 6:00 PM CDT
  • A workforce of nearly 7,000 that are committed to the power restoration effort
  • Sister company Florida Power & Light has provided approximately 1,800 employees that are already restoring power to customers
  • Significant flooding presently impacting our ability to reach some areas
  • Gulf Power urges customers to be safe; avoid downed power lines, flooding and debris
  • Download the Gulf Power app free from iOS App Store or Google Play Store

Gulf Power Wednesday announced that as of 6:00 PM CDT, it had restored power to more than 50,000 customers affected by Hurricane Sally. Currently, 234,000 customers are without electricity, including most significantly Escambia, Santa Rosa and Okaloosa counties.

“Hurricane Sally’s strong winds, storm surge and flooding has caused significant damage to the energy grid and other critical infrastructure throughout Northwest Florida,” said Marlene Santos, president of Gulf Power. “Our crews worked throughout last night and in between feeder bands today to restore more than 50,000 outages and will continue to work Wednesday evening assessing damage and restoring power as it is safe to do so. Downed trees, flooding and closed or damaged roads and bridges will likely impact our ability to reach some areas. Nevertheless, we are committed to working around the clock until every customer has their lights back on.”

Gulf Power has a workforce of nearly 7,000 that are committed to the power restoration effort. Heavy rain which unfortunately continues throughout the southeast, and subsequent flooding will continue to be one of the biggest impacts; flooding must recede before some areas, particularly those with underground service, can be accessed and repairs can be made to electrical equipment, which can result in restoration challenges.

“We are fortunate to be part of the FPL family, and we are thankful that they have sent 1,800 team members to assist us in restoring power,” added Santos. “FPL has extensive experience in restoring power following hurricanes which will be tremendously beneficial to our restoration effort. Customers should keep safety their top priority and stay away from flooding and downed lines.”

In the wake of a hurricane, Gulf Power knows you need as much information as possible so you can make decisions for you and your family. Every hurricane is different, but our goal is to get you accurate information as soon as possible. We will share the best, most up-to-date information we have as quickly as possible through traditional media, social media and GulfPower.com. Customers can also find the latest restoration information on the Gulf Power app.

We are executing our well-tested power restoration plan and our crews are restoring power as conditions safely allow. As we begin to restore power, we will focus on critical infrastructure to help get communities back on their feet. We don’t restore power based on when customers report an outage, where customers live or the status of accounts. Rather, we begin in multiple locations and follow an overall plan that calls for restoring power to the largest number of customers safely and as quickly as possible.

Smart meters allow us to know when customers are experiencing an outage, so customers do not have to call if they are experiencing an outage. Some customers may experience more than one outage. If there is an emergency, customers should call 1-800-GUPOWER (1-800-487-6937).

Customer Safety

Customers should remain vigilant and stay away from downed lines, high water and debris. Gulf Power urges customers to continue to heed warnings from local and state elected officials. Additional safety tips are available at GulfPower.com/Storm.

What we’re doing to respond to the storm

  • Workforce of nearly 7,000 that are committed to the restoration effort.
  • We have brought in approximately 1,800 personnel from our sister company FPL to support restoration efforts.
  • We have restored power to more than 50,000 customers since Sally first began to affect our service area.
  • We are using drone teams to conduct damage assessments that allow us to get to areas hard to access.

What customers can do

  • Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, if you see our crews at work, please remember to maintain proper social distancing.
  • When driving please clear the way for Gulf Power trucks so that crews can get to their next work site faster.
  • Avoid stopping crews to ask when power will be restored.

How we restore power

  • We don’t restore power based on when customers report an outage, where customers live or the status of accounts. Rather, we begin in multiple locations and follow an overall plan that calls for restoring power to the largest number of customers safely and as quickly as possible:
  • We start by repairing any damage to our power plants and the power lines that carry electricity from our plants to the local substations.
  • We prioritize restoring power to main lines that serve major hospitals and 911 centers, in addition to those facilities identified as critical infrastructure functions such as police and fire stations, water treatment plants, transportation providers and communication facilities.
  • At the same time, we work to return service to the largest number of customers in the shortest amount of time − including service to major thoroughfares that host supermarkets, pharmacies, gas stations and other needed community services.
  • From here, we repair the infrastructure serving smaller groups and neighborhoods, converging on the hardest-hit areas until every customer’s power is restored.

How to stay informed

Every storm is different, but our goal is to get you accurate information as soon as it is available. The easiest way to stay informed and report an outage after a severe weather event is the Gulf Power mobile app. Customers can also download the Gulf Power app for on-the-go, instant and secure access to their accounts. The app is available for download free in the iOS App Store or Google Play Store.

Gulf Power communicates restoration information to customers frequently through the news media and the following resources:

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