Crews from 16 states and Canada are rebuilding the electric system and restoring hope
Gulf Power has restored power to more than 83,000 families and businesses since Hurricane Michael ravaged Northwest Florida, and now has less than 40,000 customers without power in Bay County.
Hurricane Michael storm crews have continued to work 24 hours a day since the historic storm came through 10 days ago – replacing thousands of poles, restringing miles of new power lines and completely rebuilding entire sections of the electric system in the hardest hit areas.
“Many of the crew members that have come from all over the country have worked many storm restorations in the past including Katrina, Irma, Ivan and Harvey. Almost every one of them have said this is the worst devastation they have ever seen from a storm,” said Shelley Scarborough, Gulf Power’s district operations manager, who is managing the distribution restoration and rebuilding effort in Bay County. “With so much destruction on the ground, these crews are focused on getting power lines back in the air so families and businesses in these hardest hit areas can begin their rebuilding process.”
By the numbers
- 16 states and Canada represent the locations from where storm crews have traveled
- 8 staging sites have been set up in the heart of the damage to house and feed more than 7,500 crew members and support personnel
- 79% of poles have been replaced (Approximately 4,600 distribution poles replaced)
- More than 4,400 vehicles on the ground (including bucket trucks, fuel trucks, service trucks, pick-up trucks)
- 588,000 (approximately) gallons of fuel have been used
A field team from transmission, substation and distribution, including engineers, have been working alongside crews to meet every challenge to safely return power to customers. Due to significant damage to a transmission line feeding a substation located in the south part of Bay County, the field team began asking how they could energize the substation and safely meet the estimated restoration dates.
Mobile substations are typically used in existing substation yards to perform maintenance or assist as a temporary bridge during system or equipment interruptions. The field team designed an innovative application of a mobile substation, also known as a substation on wheels, to restore power to thousands of homes and businesses by the estimated restoration times.
“Our entire power restoration team is overcoming any obstacle to turn the lights back on,” said Scarborough. “In the 10 days since the storm hit, crews from outside Gulf Power’s service area have become invested in this community and together, we will all do whatever we can to help pave the road to recovery.”
Estimated Restoration Times
- Areas north and west of Panama City Mall – south of Baldwin Rd., east of Stanford Rd., north of Airport Rd. and west of Hwy. 231 is estimated to be restored by midnight, Oct. 21.
- Area along Hwy. 231 N. (and side roads) from the intersection of E. Hwy. 390, northeast to Youngstown at Pamela Lane is estimated to be restored by midnight, Oct. 22.
- Downtown Panama City, Callaway, Parker, Springfield, Lynn Haven and surrounding areas are estimated to be restored by midnight, Oct. 24.
* The above estimated restoration times are for 95% of customers that can safely accept electric service. As work progresses, we will continue to update and adjust estimated restoration times for specific areas.
Restored – Gulf Power customers are 95% restored in the following areas:
- Gulf Coast State College area east to Michigan Ave. and north of 20th Street
- Vernon, Sunny Hills and the surrounding areas south of I-10
- Jackson and Holmes counties north of I-10 in Bonifay and Chipley, and all of Caryville, Graceville and Campbellton
- Cypress and Apalachee areas with a mailing address of Sneads, Florida
- Panama City Beach
Preparing for power:
- 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. More information.
- 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 ft. away from all electrical equipment, such as power wires and poles or the green padmount box on the ground.
- 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.
- For customers that need to transfer their service due to Hurricane Michael, visit GulfPower.com or 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.
- For customers who will no longer be able to safely take power due to severe damage from Hurricane Michael, visit GulfPower.com or call 1-800-225-5797 to disconnect your home.
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, Twitter or Instagram – #RebuildingTogether #RestoringHope #PowerofTeamwork #FloridaStrong
- Gulf Power knows when your power is out. However, you can call 1-800-487-6937 if you have any questions about your outage.
- Learn about the threats downed power lines pose as power is restored.
- Watch how power is restored.
- See more preparation and safety tips here.
- Customers can get more detailed storm preparation information on the Gulf Power Storm Ready Center webpage.