CLEARWATER, Fla. (WFLA) – A Tampa Bay area business owner, frustrated with no power for eight days, has electricity now.
Owner Ted Dialinakis called 8 On Your Side and we took his concerns to the top Duke Energy official in Florida.
It took a bucket crew a half hour to fix the power at the auto body shop on North US 19 in Clearwater.
A contract crew for Duke Energy arrived to restore the power at “Collision Experts.”
They arrived eight days after the electricity went off.
“I called them every four hours since last Wednesday and I kept getting promises they would turn it on by midnight on Friday, by midnight on Saturday, by midnight on Sunday,” said Ted Dialinakis.
The reduced staff has worked in darkness, some resorting to a miner’s headlight to work on cars.
“Everybody was giving me some kind of lip service and nothing was being done until I called the news,” said Dialinakis.
An email from Dialinakakis arrived just before a news conference with Duke Florida President, Harry Sideris.
“I am happy to say that as of tonight, we’ll be essentially complete with all the restoration activity from the hurricane in the whole state of Florida,” said Sideris.
Not quite. He was told about Dialinakis’ plight.
“I’ll get the address from you and we can share it and make sure that they got taken care of,” said Sideris.
Within 20 minutes, magic happened. The crew restored power.
Off came the miner’s lamp.
Lights reveal cars crammed in the shop to protect them. Some are very expensive.
More than 12,000 linemen converged on Florida. None visited the auto body shop until 8 On Your Side got involved.
“I’m really glad I called you guys, because I didn’t know what I would do here,” said Dialinakis.
He said it was extremely frustrating to see squadrons of power company trucks going up and down Highway 19.
With the power back on, his eight employees can resume their work and collect a paycheck.
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