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Duke Energy Florida restores more than 75,000 customer outages in the Panhandle following Hurricane Michael; rebuilding efforts continue

- Nearly 3,800 customers in Gulf and Bay counties are unable to receive power due to the loss or destruction of their homes or businesses

- Duke Energy Florida had about 33,600 customer outages at the peak of the storm

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., Oct. 19, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Duke Energy Florida has restored power to all customers who were able to receive it, which totals more than 75,000 customers as of 9 p.m. on Oct. 18.

(PRNewsfoto/Duke Energy)

Nearly 3,800 customers in Bay and Gulf counties are unable to receive power at this time due to significant damage to their homes and businesses. The Duke Energy electric system was heavily damaged in these areas, as well. 

Duke Energy Florida is now focused on rebuilding its electrical infrastructure in Mexico Beach and St. Joe Beach that was damaged in Hurricane Michael's 155 mile per hour winds and record storm surge.

The rebuilding work includes installing new transformers, main power lines and all the equipment needed to provide power to our customers when they are ready for service.

While much of the work will occur in neighborhoods, additional construction will take place within the rights of ways containing electric transmission equipment that supports the region's power grid. When complete, this work will result in a stronger, more reliable electric system for customers.

Duke Energy currently has 550 men and women focused on rebuilding. Many of these workers live in the areas affected.   

Customer Care Representatives at First Baptist Church

  • From Saturday, Oct. 20 through Wednesday, Oct. 24, Duke Energy Customer Care representatives will be available at First Baptist Church in Mexico Beach (823 N. 15th Street, Mexico Beach, FL 32410) to answer questions about suspending or reconnecting electric service and provide other Duke Energy related information.

Meter Box damage  

  • For customers' safety, locations impacted by flooding or other damage may require repairs by a licensed electrician and/or inspection by local officials before electric service can be restored.
  • Damaged meter boxes are one example. Though Duke Energy owns the actual meter at each customer's home or business, the customer owns the meter box in which the meter is mounted. To prevent a significant safety hazard, Duke Energy will not restore power to a location that is damaged or has a damaged meter box.

Damage to Customer Property - Damage Notification Process

  • As part of its rebuilding efforts, Duke Energy representatives are identifying locations that need repairs to customer-owned equipment (such as meter boxes) and properties that have been abandoned, condemned, uninhabitable or a total loss. As the company finds these locations, its customer information system is updated to provide the most helpful response to customers who call. Duke Energy is also proactively contacting these affected customers as part of its damage notification process.
  • Customers who can receive power after electrical damage repairs and inspections should call Duke Energy at 1-800-754-7730.
  • For locations that have been abandoned, condemned or determined to be uninhabitable or a total loss, Duke Energy will remove all compromised electrical facilities and replace with new equipment when the customer is ready to restore service. Customers in this situation, should also call Duke Energy at 1-800-754-7730.

Duke Energy is carefully and actively monitoring the status of each reconstructed home or business. When they are ready, the company be ready to coordinate with customers, local building officials and private contractors to reenergize electric service.

Customer Assistance

  • Customers in these devastated areas lost much more than just power and have more to think about than their energy bills, so the company is offering flexible bill payment arrangements and other programs, giving them one less thing to worry about.
  • The company will waive late-payment charges for up to two months for customers who experienced significant property damage. It will also hold bills for certain customers in the hardest-hit counties to enable those customers to focus on more immediate concerns.
  • Customers who need assistance or have questions can call Duke Energy at the following numbers:

Duke Energy Florida

Duke Energy Florida owns and operates a diverse generation mix, including natural gas, coal and renewables, providing about 9,300 megawatts of owned electric capacity to approximately 1.8 million customers in a 13,000-square-mile service area.

Duke Energy Florida is a subsidiary of Duke Energy (DUK).

Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Duke Energy is one of the largest energy holding companies in the U.S., with approximately 29,000 employees and a generating capacity of 49,500 megawatts. The company is transforming its customers' experience, modernizing its energy grid, generating cleaner energy and expanding its natural gas infrastructure to create a smarter energy future for the people and communities it serves.

The company's Electric Utilities and Infrastructure unit serves approximately 7.6 million retail electric customers in six states – North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky. Its Gas Utilities and Infrastructure unit distributes natural gas to approximately 1.6 million customers in five states – North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Ohio and Kentucky. Its Commercial Renewables unit operates a growing renewable energy portfolio across the U.S.

A Fortune 125 company, Duke Energy was named to Fortune's 2018 "World's Most Admired Companies" list and Forbes' 2018 "America's Best Employers" list.

More information about the company is available at duke-energy.com. The Duke Energy News Center includes news releases, fact sheets, photos, videos and other materials. Duke Energy's illumination features stories about people, innovations, community topics and environmental issues. Follow Duke Energy on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook.

Contact: Peveeta Persaud
Office: 727.820.5592 | 24-Hour: 800.559.3853
Twitter: @DE_PeveetaP

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