GRACEVILLE – As a result of Hurricane Irma passing near our area on September 10-12, West Florida Electric Cooperative (WFEC) experienced outages across its four-county service area. The cooperative had a total of 279 outages impacting several thousand members throughout the day and night on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday in Calhoun, Holmes, Jackson and Washington counties. All WFEC members had power restored to their homes by Tuesday afternoon.
Many other Florida cooperatives were not as fortunate as WFEC when it comes to outages, so ten engineering and operations employees left this morning to assist Suwannee Valley Electric Cooperative (SVEC), headquartered in Live Oak, Florida with their restoration process. As of 10:00 a.m. this morning, SVEC still had around 15,500 members without power.
Overall, co-ops in Florida were able to restore power to more than 250,000 meters yesterday, but Florida co-ops are still reporting 424,000 remaining outages at this time. Approximately 5,000 cooperative workers from nearly 25 states are converging on the hurricane impact zone to assist with restoration efforts, according to Chief Executive Officer of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA), Jim Matheson, who released a statement this morning on the impacts of Hurricane Irma.