Crews restored power to more than 25,000 Gulf Power customers without power in the wake of Hurricane Michael, but much work remains to be done in the Panama City area.

Crews restoring power in Panama City, Florida after Hurricane Michael
Crews restoring power in Panama City, Florida after Hurricane Michael

With power fully restored to all customers in Escambia, Santa Rosa and Okaloosa counties, Gulf Power crews, with more than 3,000 crews from around the country, are descending on the Panama City area this morning to begin the restoration and rebuilding process. But customers may not see the bigger bucket trucks with crews working on the streets until roads are cleared and safe.

“Our process following the storm begins with our evaluation teams arriving in smaller trucks that can more easily navigate through debris and damage,” said Gulf Power spokesperson, Jeff Rogers.

Damage in Panama City, Florida from Hurricane Michael
Damage in Panama City, Florida from Hurricane Michael

“Those teams are working to determine the damage to our grid in Panama City, but roads must be cleared and made safe before crews can get their larger bucket trucks in to begin the restoration and rebuilding process.”

Once roads are made safe, and a strategic restoration plan is in place, crews will begin the restoration and rebuilding process. This process begins with transmission lines, which are the larger lines on the taller poles that bring power from Gulf Power’s generating plants to the substations. Planes and drones will be flying the lines inspecting damage and transmission crews will begin making repairs.

Damage in Panama City, Florida from Hurricane Michael
Damage in Panama City, Florida from Hurricane Michael

While the transmission lines are being inspected and repaired, substation crews will be inspecting and repairing substations. Substations step down the voltage of the electricity from the power plants to a level that powers homes and businesses.

While any repairs are being made to the substations, crews will be inspecting the distribution lines and beginning the restoration process. Distribution lines carry electricity from our substations to homes and businesses.

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,” said Rogers. “We’re in this together, and this is why our crews do what they do — restoring power and hope for our customers.”

Gulf Power urges our customers to ensure that safety is a top priority. With extensive damage to critical infrastructure, it is important to keep safety tips at the forefront. For the latest updates, and to monitor our progress in your area, please check Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as well as our outage map.

MEDIA USE: Storm Resources.

Current outage total as of 11 a.m. CDT:

County Customers Out Customers Served
Bay 101,276 103,367
Escambia 16 152,984
Holmes 2,572 2,572
Jackson 1,344 1,375
Okaloosa 16 94,172
Santa Rosa 0 72,563
Walton 2,087 23,578
Washington 6,252 6,514
TOTAL 113,563 457,125