Gulf Power stands ready for the impacts of Hurricane Michael and encourages its customers to be prepared as well. The latest forecast projects landfall somewhere in the Panama City vicinity as a category 3, possibly 4, hurricane Wednesday afternoon. On the current track, tropical storms force winds could extend as far west as Pensacola, with the greatest impact to the Panama City area.
In addition to the 1,517 Gulf Power employees and contractors, more than 2,240 outside resources will be in Northwest Florida to assist with power restoration.
“Michael is a powerful storm and it looks like our customers in Panama City area will be the most heavily impacted. With a storm of this magnitude, power restoration in the hardest hit areas may take up to a week or more due to anticipated storm impacts.” said Rick DelaHaya, Gulf Power spokesperson. “But all customers need to be prepared for tropical storm-force winds, which could lead to prolonged, widespread outages.
Gulf Power crews will work throughout the day and night to restore any outages until winds reach 35 mph, when it becomes unsafe. Once the storm passes, crews will quickly work to determine the damage and begin to work as quickly and safely as possible to restore power.
“Customers can be assured that we will work every minute to restore power as long as it is safe to do so,” DelaHaya said. “We our working our storm plans. We have already been tested this year with Subtropical Storm Alberto and Tropical Storm Gordon, so we are ready.”
Company employees are spending all day today on logistics, preparing materials in areas where most of the damage could occur. They also are setting up staging areas throughout Northwest Florida to handle the influx of outside crews.
Gulf Power will continue to update its customers with timely information through its Gulf Power app, website, news media and social media.
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.
- Customers can follow Gulf Power updates on Facebook or Twitter:
- 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.