Gulf Power crews began restoring its customers’ power Saturday night before high winds grounded bucket trucks as Nate pushed through the area. Crews were back on the job early this morning and have restored power to more than 15,000 customers.
The energy provider said there were fewer outages than expected and some of that is because of investments in modernizing the power grid, and because the area did not receive the stronger winds that were originally predicted.
“More outages could occur as outer bands continue to roll throughout Northwest Florida. We thank our customers for their patience and understanding as our crews work to get every last customer’s power back on,” said Kimberly Blair, Gulf Power spokesperson. “Investments in our smart grid have made our system more robust and resilient and we’ve had fewer outages than expected — but that doesn’t mean customers won’t lose power — but in many cases, crews can restore the power more quickly.”
Hurricane Nate made landfall near Biloxi, Mississippi early this morning with 85 mph winds. As of 7:30 a.m., 10,600 Gulf Power customers are still without power. Gulf Power estimates that 95 percent of customers who are currently without power will be restored by 8 p.m. with the exception of Destin, Niceville and Fort Walton Beach that are still experiencing the effects of Nate. Gulf Power has recorded nearly 26,000 power outages since Nate first began impacting the area. The energy provider serves more 460,000 customers throughout Northwest Florida. Customers can follow restoration progress on the energy provider’s outage map
Crews from Southern Company, and energy providers from Tennessee, Kentucky and Florida are also assisting with power restoration.
Gulf Power will continue to update its customers with timely information through its Gulf Power app, website, news media and social media.
Safety tips for after a storm
* Treat any downed wire as if it is energized because you can’t tell by looking if a downed wire is live or not. Telephone or cable television wires that are touching a power line could become energized and should also be avoided. Call 911 to report the location of any downed lines.
* Don’t attempt to repair the electrical system or pull tree limbs off lines. Let our trained work crews perform this potentially dangerous work.
* Stay clear of areas where there is a lot of debris or downed trees because it could conceal an energized power line. Also stay clear of chain link fences which may be energized if touching a downed line.
* If you have an electric generator, please ensure that you have isolated your home or business from the utility electrical service lines by opening main breakers or other devices. Do not connect portable generators to your household electrical wiring. This can cause serious injury to you and to our employees working on the lines in your neighborhood. Connect only essential appliances – such as freezers and refrigerators — directly to the generator.
* If your power is off, turn off large appliances and air conditioners and wait 10 to 15 minutes after power has been restored before turning them back on.
* If there is damage to your meter box or the pole on top of your meter box, you must first have an electrician make repairs before we can restore your service.
* If there is flooding in your home or business, we may be unable to restore electric service until the building is inspected by city or county code officials.
* Stay away from areas where our crews are working. If driving, follow road signs, drive cautiously and follow directions in the area of a work crew.
* Please be patient. Our crews will work as fast as safety allows. Before neighborhood lines can be worked on, our crews must first repair larger lines that bring power to neighborhoods.
More storm information here.
How customers can connect with us
• To get the latest updates on outages, customers can download Gulf Power’s app and access the outage map for the latest restoration information. The app is free and available for iPhone and Android. Just search for “Gulf Power” in iTunes or the Google Play Store.
• Customers can follow Gulf Power updates on Facebook or Twitter:
http://www.facebook.com/gulfpowercompany or http://www.twitter.com/gulfpower.
• Sign up for free PowerOut alerts through your cell phone by texting REG to MyGulf (694853). Or, visit the Preference Center in the My Account area of MyGulfPower.com to choose whether to receive texts, emails or phone calls with outage updates.
• Gulf Power knows when your power is out. However, you can call 1-800-487-6937 if you have any questions about your outage.
Crews restoring power overnight
Local contractor, Pike, is among the crews helping Gulf Power with restoring power to Northwest Florida customers