From West Florida Electric Cooperative:
Beginning around 1:00 a.m. West Florida Electric began experiencing scattered outages related to wind, downed trees and lightning.
Approximately 800 members in Washington, Holmes & Jackson Counties have been without power for brief periods, with the worst outages in the Tri-County Road area of Jackson County and Wausau in Washington County.
Crews continue to work to restore power to approximately 250 members system wide.
The outages are scattered and isolated. Lighting caused a major portion of the damage and typically this equates to single outages, which take longer to restore.
Due to the scattered nature of the outages, if you remain without electricity, please call (800) 342-7400 to verify we are aware of your outage.
From Gulf Power Company:
Gulf Power restores power to 35,000 customers
Gulf Power Company has restored power to more than 35,000 customers as of 9 a.m. this morning. Crews resumed restoration efforts at 6 a.m. after the storms began to subside.
Less than 24,000 customers are still without power, primarily in Escambia County, which was hit hard by nearly 2 feet of rain since Tuesday afternoon.
Crews from Mississippi Power, a Gulf Power sister company, are en route to Northwest Florida to help the company with restoration efforts.
For customers’ safety, Gulf Power offices in Escambia, Santa Rosa and Okaloosa counties will not open until 1 p.m. today.
Crews could do little work overnight because of the flooded road conditions and continued storms that rolled through the area. Widespread damage to the system is still being assessed before an estimated restoration time for all customers can be determined.
Gulf Power’s customers are experiencing fewer power outages than any other time in recent history. In fact, investments in the power grid have made a significant difference, improving reliability for the utility’s 436,000 customers by more than 35 percent since 2010.
“Our line and support personnel have had a lot of experience over the past couple of years restoring power,” said Jeff Rogers, Gulf Power Communications manager. “When you pair that with the improvements we’re making to our power grid — the bottom line is customers get their power back on more quickly.”
UPDATE: CHELCO currently has 37 outages affecting 178 members.
From the Choctawhatchee Electric Cooperative:
Approximately 888 CHELCO members are without power as of 8:30 a.m. Wednesday due to rain, wind and lighting. At that time there were 65 outages across CHELCO’s service territory. The outages are currently being assessed, and updates will be sent as they become available.
Outages are scattered from the Alabama state line to the Gulf in Okaloosa and Walton counties. Line crews have been working through the night making repairs, which are difficult due to rain. In fact, some areas are impossible to reach due to flooding.
Crews expect to work through the day and into the evening to restore power. “The stalled front has allowed the rain and lighting to train from the gulf right across us all night. I have never seen lighting as bad as it was for hours last night,” said Vice President of Operations Donny Fugate.
All available crews are working the outages, including the engineering department, who are scouting the cause of outages in advance of crews. The majority of outages are caused by lightening, flooding and fallen tree limbs.
Current outages may be viewed at www.chelco.com:8088. Updates will also be posted on CHELCO’S Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/choctawhatcheeelectriccooperative as more information becomes available.
Today CHELCO’s Freeport office will be closed and the Santa Rosa Beach office is currently inaccessible because of flooding.
CHELCO is a not-for-profit electric distribution cooperative serving more than 45,000 accounts in Walton, Okaloosa, Holmes and Santa Rosa counties.