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Power Still Out? Here’s Why

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Over 3.5 million Florida utility customers are still without power as of Wednesday afternoon. Many North Central Floridians are losing patience and wanting to know how long before their electricity is restored.

Out of the four utility companies serving North Central Florida, Clay Electric Cooperative, Inc. has the most customers without service.

As of Wednesday afternoon, 41% of Clay’s approximately 171,000 members are still without power.

Clay’s wholesale electricity comes from two other companies, Duke Energy and Seminole Electric Corporation. Without resolution on their end, Clay Electric cannot help their own customers, no matter how many people are affected.

Rural areas might take longer to serve because power lines are prioritized in order of how many people they are providing with power.

Clay Electric spokesman Wayne Mattox said, “What we try to do is rebuild portions of our distribution system that will get the most members on in the quickest manner.”

Before the storm, customers were warned that power line repairs could take at least a week.

“Irma was a very powerful and dangerous storm,” Mattox said. “We are doing our best to get the lines back up.”

Clay Electric has gathered help from all around the country. Wednesday afternoon, there were about 1,000 people in the field helping to resolve power outages.

“We have gotten crews in from Louisiana, Alabama, Nebraska, South Carolina, Wisconsin and more are on the way,” Mattox said.

Flooding from the Santa Fe River and Black Creek could cause delays up to a month because of the unsafe working conditions.

Companies are working quickly and diligently to get power back to their customers.

Brandon Thomas, a Duke Energy spokesman, said that Duke has restored power to almost half of their customers in just over a day.

As of 6:00 p.m. Wednesday, just over 500,000 customers of their 1.7 million Florida accounts are still without power.

Gainesville Regional Utilities is also working hard to get their power lines up and running, according Tiffany Small, a GRU spokeswoman.

“As of now, GRU has around 7,900 costumers that are without power. Throughout the whole storm event, we have restored around 51,000 costumers,” Small said. “We are actually doing really good with our restoration effort. We are getting customers back up as fast as we can.”

For power outage updates throughout North Central Florida, contact the following utility companies below:

Clay Electric:

  • As of Wednesday, Clay has restored service to about 91,500 members since Monday afternoon.
  • About 40%, or 69,500, of their customers are still out of power.
  • Power restoration could take one to two months.  Some might have power back in a week or two.
  • To report a power outage, call 1-800-521-2450

Gainesville Regional Utilities:

  • GRU has 7,900 customers that are without power.
  • About 51,000 customers have had their power restored.
  • GRU is asking customers to stay away from downed lines, limit water use, and continue to report outages as they are happening.
  • To report a power outage, call 352-334-2871

Duke Energy:

  • Power has been restored to more than 809,000 of their 1.7 million Florida customers.
  • 12,000 workers are helping to restore service.
  • Over 600,000 incidents have been resolved.
  • All Duke Energy customers should have their power restored by midnight, September 17.
  • To report a power outage, call 1-800-228-8485

SECO:

  • SECO energy released an interactive map today. Members can enter their service address and the map will show if their area is included in the current day’s restoration plan.
  • According to its website, SECO brought in several contractors before Irma made landfall to help with restoration efforts.
  • On Monday, SECO reported 110,000 customers were without power. As of Wednesday evening, 54,000 members remain without power.
  • To report a power outage, call 1-800-732-6141

Ocala Electric Utility: 

  • As of 5 p.m., Wednesday OEU has restored power to approximately 38,215 customers.
  • Approximately 17, 816 customers are still without power.
  • OEU projects 98% of their approximately 48,000 customers will have their power restored by the evening of Sunday, Sept. 17. All customers should have power by the middle of next week.
  • To view and subscribe to current outages, please visit outages.ocalafl.org.
  • To report a power outage, please call 352-351-6666 or download the free MyUsage App from the App Store or Google Play.
  • If residents’ power is restored while crews are still working in the area, it is encouraged that they leave a porch light or externally visible light on so crews can see that they have power.

Central Florida Electric Cooperative: 

  • About 78% of the service area was left without power after Irma, according to CFEC’s website.
  • There are still 7,682 members without power, according to the website.
  • CFEC has brought in additional help from Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Maryland, Mississippi, and the Florida Panhandle and has more on the way each day.
  • Members can report power outages through the website, by calling 1-352-493-2511 or 1-800-227-1302,  or through the mobile app CFEC Connect.​

About Mercedes Leguizamon

Mercedes Leguizamon is a reporter at WUFT News, she can be reached at 786-619-4733 or by email at mercedeslegui@gmail.com and mercelegui@ufl.edu

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  • OPTIMUS CRIME

    Duke Energy has 10,000 workers working…and yet I haven’t seen but one truck since Sunday. Where are all the trucks?

  • John Borovka

    cfec has had trucks around but they aren’t working on the downed powerlines near me that have been down since the storm. I don’t know about all the supposed help they’re getting because hardly anybody has power on in old town and cfec has zero customer service. they don’t seem to realize that we are only interested in them when we don’t have power. All year they send out a monthly suck-up newsletter telling us how much they value their customers and then when there is a power outage they find somewhere to hide until its all over. no fault of the crews but i don’t think the management can manage a taco stand. as soon as the outage is fixed i’m sure i’ll get another one of their stupid newsletters extolling the brave efforts they took on our behalf to get the power back on. what a worthless company.

  • Pedro J Torres

    I am a Clay Electric customer. I am still without power even though a lot of the people in the area have power. I live in the country side and I have been driving around to see where the problem might be. I have seen a few trees down b but none of the is affecting the electric cables. I have seen one or two trucks from GRU working, but none from other companies. When I called Clay the other day the machine instructed me to check my breakers, which I did! Still no power! I had to leave the house and move to Jacksonville. I had to empty the freezer (after spending several dollars in ice) and throw away a lot of spoiled food. Today i called them again and was told that someone has to be in the house in order to make sure there is no power and then they don’t know how long it would take for someone to go and resolve the issue. They couldn’t tell me if I have power or not! And I’m in Jacksonville!. By the way, have anyone seen how they read the electric meter?. A guy comes to my house and from the truck he snaps a picture of the meter and leaves!!!! How accurate is that?????????