If you live in Tallahassee and you’re one of the fewer than 300 people without power after Hurricane Irma, that should be resolved by Thursday. Other parts of the Big Bend may have to wait a little while longer.
“We’re getting to the end of the road. So that’s good,” said Tallahassee Utilities General Manager Rob McGarrah.
“We’re in that mode where we’ve got a lot of small, less than 50 or 60 groupings of outages, down to the individual outages around the city.”
Two large swaths of outages were restored Wednesday, two days after Irma knocked out power to roughly 44,000 city customers. That number was cut in half within a day of the storm’s passing and has continued to dwindle with the help of out-of-town utility crews, McGarrah said.
But some Talquin Electric Cooperative and Duke Energy customers could have a longer wait for the lights and AC to kick back on.
Duke Energy customers – 600,000 without power statewide as of Wednesday afternoon – could face another four days of darkness as officials work to repair damaged transmission lines throughout the Big Bend.
Duke serves roughly 31,000 customers in Leon, Franklin, Wakulla, Taylor, Jefferson and Madison counties. As of Wednesday afternoon, about 14,500 were still without power across the region.
About 1.28 million of Duke’s 1.8 million customers around the state lost power after Irma’s thrashing. More than 12,000 linemen are working throughout the state to make repairs.
Duke spokeswoman Katherine Butler said work on large, devasted transmission lines is happening around the clock.
“We do expect power to be restored at the very latest Sunday,” Butler said. “Some of those customers may be attached to specific feeders that may have been damaged and that may require rebuilding portions of the transmission line.”
Talquin Electric Cooperative’s biggest issue with restoration is damage to the same transmission lines Duke is working on, which feed its substations. About 100 linemen are working to identify what can be fixed safely while the major lines are being repaired.
Talquin also is enlisting the help of other electric co-ops from Texas, Ohio, Indiana, North Carolina and Gulf County.
Most of the work restoring the roughly 1,400 still without power was expected to be completed Wednesday, said spokeswoman Maicel Green, with individual and small clusters of outages then being addressed.
More than half of its customers in four counties who were without power after the storm was up and running within 24 hours, she said.
“Initially, what we said was we would have 90 percent of our members up by this (Wednesday) evening, at least 98 percent by Friday,” Green said. “Some things have been working in our favor. We’ve made some good time.”
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