Hurricane Michael made landfall near Panama City, Fla., at 12:30 p.m. as a Category 4, bringing storm surge and heavy rain with wind speed in excess of 150 mph. At the storm’s peak, about 120,000, or approximately 26 percent of Gulf Power’s customers, were without power. Gulf Power is actively beginning the restoration process from multiple staging sites with more than 4,000 support personnel from 16 states.
Progress is being made in many areas and the company has restored power in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties and expects to restore storm-related outages to Okaloosa and Walton counties by the end of the day Thursday. At that time, our storm-tested crews will join teams from across the country in restoring power in Bay County and communities in Northwest Florida that were hit the hardest.
“The Gulf Power system held strong from Pensacola to Fort Walton Beach — a testament to the investments we’ve made to harden our infrastructure.,” said Gulf Power spokesperson Jeff Rogers. “But the hardest hit areas around Panama City may need to be rebuilt from the ground up.”
Rogers said the energy provider would work until every customer who can receive power gets their power restored.
“Our crews and support personnel are going to work around the clock until every last customer is restored,” said Rogers. “While the force of the storm is unprecedented, we are grateful for the strong support we have received from Southern Company – and mutual assistance partners across the country – which have allowed us to safely and quickly respond and begin the restoration process. We have more than 4,000 boots on the ground working to restore power.”
The strength of Hurricane Michael could mean a rebuild of infrastructure, which may take weeks in the hardest hit areas. Gulf Power is committed to restoring power to customers in every community we serve across Northwest Florida.
“It’s overwhelming to see our customers supporting our crews and employees as they work to restore power,” said Rogers. “We’re in this together, and our crews are among the heroes after the storm, restoring power and hope.”
Gulf Power will continue to update its customers with timely information through its Gulf Power app, website, outage map, news media and social media.
Current outage total as of 7 p.m. CDT:
|County||Customers Out||Customers Served|
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.
- Visit MyGulfPower.com and click on the outage map for restoration updates.
- Customers can follow Gulf Power updates on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
- 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 alerts, 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.
Here are some safety tips:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- See more preparation and safety tips here.
- Customers can get more detailed storm preparation information on the Gulf Power Storm Ready Center webpage.