Florida Power and Light stages in Valdosta as Hermine approaches

| September 1, 2016

FPL prep

VALDOSTA – Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) staged crews in Valdosta Wednesday afternoon in preparation for a quick response to restore power to any affected areas after Tropical Storm Hermine makes its way through Florida.

Released statement from FPL:

“FPL has mobilized and is prepared to respond to the effects of this storm with a restoration workforce totaling approximately 5,000 field workers and support staff,” said Eric Silagy, president and chief executive officer of FPL. “For the better part of the past decade, FPL has been investing heavily in developing one of the nation’s most advanced smart grids. A key focus of that investment has been to make the electric system stronger by upgrading main power lines that serve critical local facilities and other community needs. This prepares our system to better withstand severe weather, and importantly, enables us to restore power to our customers faster following major storms.”

The National Hurricane Center forecast that Tropical Storm Hermine will make landfall on Florida’s Gulf Coast sometime Thursday, which means that FPL customers in the northern parts of the state should prepare for tropical storm-force winds, flying debris and vegetation, and potential flooding from heavy rainfall.

The company’s system upgrades include local facilities, including all major hospitals, and essentially all 911 facilities and emergency operations centers in the 35 Florida counties FPL serves. FPL also has upgraded lines serving facilities that address other community needs, such as pharmacies, grocery stores and gas stations. By year-end 2016, FPL will have strengthened all main power lines serving critical facilities.

With Tropical Storm Hermine approaching, FPL urges customers to review their family and business emergency plans, keep a close watch on the development of the storm and follow the advice of local government. Preparation and safety tips are available at FPL.com.

Prior to storm season, we conduct extensive training to prepare our employees to respond safely and as quickly as possible if a storm threatens our service territory.

  • We secure agreements for assistance from out-of-state utilities and electrical contracting companies in case additional restoration workers should be needed. We also order backup supplies and equipment, and we plan staging sites throughout our 35-county service territory.
  • We work closely with local emergency officials to update lists of facilities that are critical to the community, such as hospitals, police and fire stations, communication facilities, water treatment plants and transportation providers.
  • We also prepare and strengthen our infrastructure throughout the year by:
    • Clearing tree limbs and branches from power lines;
    • Inspecting poles for strength;
    • Upgrading poles from wood to concrete or steel; and
    • Inspecting power lines and equipment with infrared technology to detect issues the naked eye can’t see, and making any needed repairs.

Safety is always FPL’s first priority. We urge customers to make it their top priority, too:

Record your FPL account number in a location that will be readily available. By knowing your account number, you will be able to quickly access your account at FPL.com. Also, have our phone number (1-800-4OUTAGE or 1-800-468-8243) handy in the event you need to call to obtain information through our automated system.

If someone in your home is dependent on electric-powered, life-sustaining medical equipment, review your family emergency plan for backup power, or make arrangements to relocate when a storm warning is issued.

If you plan to use a ladder while preparing your home for the storm, note the location of power lines before you begin. Be sure that ladders or scaffolds are far enough away so that you – and the ends of the tools you’re using – stay at least 10 feet away from power lines. Before lowering a TV antenna or satellite dish, make sure to turn off and unplug the TV.

Most counties will suspend trash and debris pickup before a storm. Please do not trim trees now, as high winds can turn cut branches into dangerous, flying debris. However, if you already have trimmed trees, please help to prevent outages by tying down or securing loose branches or other debris.

Even when winds have subsided, conditions can be dangerous. We urge customers in stormy and flooded areas to stay far away from downed power lines, flooding and debris; lines could be energized and dangerous.

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Hermine gaining strength as it moves towards Florida; Lowndes under Tropical Storm Warning
Filed in: Local News, News

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