Even though Gulf Power has restored power to more than 95 percent of its customers who can safely receive power, much work is left to be done in Bay County. As the energy provider tapers off crews who have worked around the clock for the last two weeks, additional new storm teams – more than 1,100 strong – will continue working in areas devastated by Hurricane Michael. This is about 10 times the number of crews the energy company typically has in this area under normal conditions.
“We still have many customers who are working to make repairs to their homes and businesses so they can safely receive power,” said Adrianne Collins, vice president of Power Delivery for Gulf Power. “Moving forward, we’re still committed to our top priority of restoring power to every single family and business that can still take power. We will continue to have a large presence in the area working to reconnect our customers as quickly as possible.”
The energy company is continuing the restoration process for the less-than-five percent of customers who can safely take power and for customers who will need to repair their homes, businesses and electrical equipment in order to be connected to the power grid. Once customers are able to make necessary repairs, which should be handled by a licensed electrician, they should call Gulf Power at 1-800-225-5797 to schedule their reconnect.
Gulf Power is also ramping up efforts to pick up electrical equipment damaged by the storm, including transformers, poles and lines. Crews will be taking all electrical debris for proper disposal over the next several weeks.
“We have a rigorous plan for cleanup over the next several weeks, which includes picking up electric equipment, and continuing to clear and trim trees and vegetation that has become a hazard since the storm,” said Collins.
Ongoing Restoration Activities Include
- Gulf Power crews, alongside hundreds of lineworkers, service technicians, tree trimmers and support personnel, will continue to be in neighborhoods and along roadways working on the electric system. Additional work will include –
- Providing service to customers when their homes and businesses are safely ready to accept power.
- Continued evaluation of the electric system to ensure safe and reliable electric service.
- Making required repairs on equipment and power lines to restore the system to pre-storm operational conditions.
- Clearing and trimming additional trees and vegetation.
- Cleaning up electric system debris.
- Service technicians working to reconnect customers and work on electric meters.
- Continue repairing and rebuilding our infrastructure and the communities we serve.
Preparing for power
Gulf Power wants to ensure customers know what they can do now to ensure they can be safely connected at the earliest opportunity when power is restored to their area.
- Reconnect Service – Know what you need to repair – Homeowners and businesses are responsible for electrical equipment attached to the house (service stack, attachment hardware, riser and meter box). Gulf Power is responsible for the wire or service line to the house and the electric meter. If the homeowner’s equipment is damaged, repairs will be needed before Gulf Power can connect service. See this document or watch this video for more information.
- Reconnect/Transfer Service – For customers that need to transfer their service due to Hurricane Michael, call 1-800-225-5797. The Account Establishment Charge will be waived for residential customers relocating within Gulf Power's service area due to Hurricane Michael. The AEC will also be waived when the customer reconnects service at the original premise location, following repairs or rebuilding. This does not apply to temporary service poles.
- Disconnect Service – For customers who will no longer be able to safely take power due to severe damage from Hurricane Michael, call 1-800-225-5797 to disconnect your home.
- Keep area near and around power poles clear of debris – As customers clean up from the storm, it is important to keep all debris at least 10 feet away from all electrical equipment, such as power wires and poles or the green padmount box on the ground (pictured here). It is especially important not to place debris on top of the green padmount box. This can make it difficult for lineworkers to perform connection work and can present a danger during debris removal.
- 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. For dangerous conditions, including downed power lines, please call 911 or 1-800-487-6937.
- Standing water (puddles from flooding) may be energized from a downed line. Be careful not to touch or step in water near where a downed power line is located. If a downed line is near water — even a small puddle — keep well away.
- 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.
- 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.
- See more preparation and safety tips here.
Stay Connected with Gulf Power
- 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.
- Visit MyGulfPower.com and click on the outage map for restoration updates.
- Customers can follow Gulf Power updates on Facebook or Twitter – #RebuildingTogether #RestoringHope #PowerofTeamwork #850Strong
- Gulf Power knows when your power is out. However, you can call 1-800-487-6937 if you have any questions about your outage.