TECO to those still without power: ‘Keep the faith’

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Tampa Electric crews are hard at work trying to restore all the power outages caused by Hurricane Irma. 

The lights are back on for more than half of those who lost power during the storm, but there are still about 180,000 customers in the dark, according to Tampa Electric.

“This storm was huge,” said Tampa Electric Spokesperson Cherie Jacobs. “This affected the entire state of Florida and the recovery effort is the entire state of Florida.”

Tampa Electric has about 4,000 workers in the field trying to restore power. About 3,000 of those workers have come from across the country, including from Canada, to assist.

Devin Williams, who lives in a south Tampa neighborhood, has been without power and air conditioning for days. He says his patience is starting to fade.

“Did they forget about us or do they not know that we’re here?” asked Williams. “We have no power and we need some power, it’s pretty hot over here.”

What makes matters worse, he says, is seeing that the power is on for many of his neighbors.

“I look over and look in their backyard and see their lights on, hear their air conditioning going,” said Williams. “It kinda sucks, but you gotta do what you gotta do, I guess.”

Jacobs says all Tampa Electric customers will have their power restored by the end of the day on Sunday.

Crews are prioritizing repairs that affect the largest amount of customers, according to Jacobs.

“To folks without power, keep the faith,” said Jacobs. “We will get your power back on as quickly as we can.”

Some of those without power are getting some help from neighbors. One homeowner in south Tampa is running extension cords to those across the street without power, allowing them to have cool air and a working refrigerator.

“We were able to sleep last evening with air conditioning, so yeah, it takes a village,” said Tampa resident Lauren Sasser

As for Williams, he’s keeping an eye on his street’s entrance, hoping he’ll soon see crews coming in to restore electricity.

“If I see them come through the neighborhood, I’m going to try to wave them down, like ‘hey we got no power over here, we need some power,’” said Williams.

TECO says customers can monitor and track outages in their neighborhood through the outage map here. 

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