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Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Two new updates through Rich Gibbons from TECO and The Ledger

Below is a statement on the TECO power outage from their website.  The customers affected in the Mulberry area is down from over 10,000 to 6,438. They are predicting that everybody will have service restored by midnight on Sunday the 17th

Rick Gibbons

We are estimating that essentially all customers will be back in service by the end of this weekend. Due to the magnitude of the storm and the significant rebuilding of the system required, some customers may take longer to restore.
To restore service safely, efficiently and as quickly as possible, restoration efforts must be completed in a systematic manner. We give emphasis to public safety, law enforcement and essential services, as well as working outages that impact the largest numbers of customers. If smaller outages can be completed quickly, those are worked too. Smaller and more complex outages will take longer to restore.
We have over 280,000 man hours of work to repair the damage to get customers back in service. We understand customers are looking for specific restoration information to plan and we will work to provide that information as restoration progresses and further damage is assessed.
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Percentage of customers with power


LPV CERT: Forward from the Ledger 9/13/2017

Two generator incidents send 4 to hospitals; after-storm and cleanup dangers surround us   By Marilyn Meyer   Posted Sep 12, 2017 at 10:53 PM
  Two Lake Alfred residents were in serious to critical condition and two southwest Lakeland residents were in fair condition Tuesday after separate incidents of exposure to carbon-monoxide gas coming off generators set up in garages.
Polk County Fire Rescue responded to the two incidents Tuesday morning and took the four people to area hospitals, said Kevin Watler, communications specialists for Polk County Fire Rescue. He did not know to which hospitals the four were taken.
“The two hospitalized from Lake Alfred were discovered by co-workers after employees didn’t show up for work,” Watler said.
In both incidents, the generators were in enclosed garages, he said.“Portable generators are useful during power outages, but improper use can be risky,” Watler said.
Running the generators produces carbon monoxide, an odorless, tasteless gas that you cannot see.
In enclosed spaces, the gas can build up very quickly, according to the Florida Department of Health, which warns if you start to feel sick, dizzy or weak while using a generator, get to fresh air right away, don’t delay by opening windows or turning on fans to ventilate the enclosure.
Here is what you should know• Generators and gas grills should be operated in well-ventilated locations, outdoors, away from all doors, windows and vent openings.
• Never use a generator or gas grill in an attached garage, even with the door open.
• Place generators so that exhaust fumes cannot enter the home through windows, doors or other openings in the building.
• Install carbon monoxide alarms in your home. Follow manufacturer’s instructions for correct placement and mounting height.
Other dangers associated with portable generators include electrical shock, electrocution and fire hazards.
• Turn off generators and let them cool down before refueling. Never refuel a generator while it is running.
• Store fuel for the generator in a container that is intended for the purpose and is correctly labeled. Store the containers outside of living areas. Propane tanks should also be turned off when not in use and stored outdoors.
Do not connect a generator to your home’s electrical system without a licensed electrician providing a means to connect. Improper wiring creates the danger of back feeding the power system, energizing downed lines and fatally electrocuting anyone who contacts those lines.
Other dangers:  There are many other dangers that can sicken people or send them to hospital emergency departments and urgent care centers during the cleanup period following a major storm.
To help prevent injuries, infections and disease, here is a compilation of tips from Lakeland Regional Health and officials from other local utility, public health and fire departments.
Minimize water use: Until the county returns to full power, it is important to minimize water usage to prevent and reduce the risk of sewer system backups in homes.
Lakeland Regional Health officials recommend limiting use of dishwashers, sinks, washing machines, showers and toilets (flush solid waste but reduce flushing of urine).
In addition, Polk County Utilities recommends hand-washing clothing if you can, rather than using the washing machine, shortening showers or bathing on alternative days and using hand sanitizers when possible rather than washing hands.
Downed power lines: Look for downed power lines in your area, and remember they may be concealed by flood waters or fallen debris.
Lakeland Electric adds: Do not try to move them out of the way, even with “insulated” materials. Do not drive over them.
Standing water: All standing water is considered dirty and contaminated with germs, so stay out of it, Lakeland Regional Health officials warn. Avoid contact with your mouth and skin, especially if you have any skin breaks. Wash with soap and clean water after exposure.
It is impossible to know how deep the water is, or whether dangerous debris is hidden beneath the surface. In addition, standing water may contain snakes and other wild animals in distress. Bites may need immediate medical attention.
Drinking water: If your drinking-water well is underwater, assume it may be contaminated until the water recedes and you complete the decontamination process, according to Lakeland Regional Health officials. Boil water at a rolling boil for one minute to ensure safety for drinking and cooking.
If you are in an area without power and have received a boil water notice, Polk County Public Utilities advises you can disinfect the tap water by adding eight drops, about one-eighth of a teaspoon, of unscented household bleach per gallon of water and let it stand for at least 30 minutes. If the water is cloudy, repeat. Keep the cap on the container or keep it covered.
Cooking: The Lakeland Fire Department warns that propane gas cooking canisters, gas grills and charcoal barbecue grills need to be used outdoors and not in a garage or other partially enclosed space.
Other tips from Lakeland Regional Health officials include:
Traffic lights: If a traffic light is out or possible malfunctioning, treat the intersection as a four-way stop. Drive only when absolutely necessary.
Trees: When cutting down damaged tree limbs, be aware limbs are heavier and more dangerous than they appear. Chainsaws should only be used if in good working order and by those familiar with the potential dangers.
Using open flames: Be careful when using candles to light your home, especially if you have small children or pets. Never leave an open flame unattended (don’t fall asleep when a candle is burning) or near any flammable materials.
Gas Lines: Report the smell of gas (“rotten egg”) by calling 911, open windows and leave the area.  If there is an emergency situation, the emergency departments at all Polk County hospitals are operating normally and most urgent care centers have reopened.

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