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10/14/2016 Contact: 850-413-6482

PSC Reports Utilities Fast Storm Restoration Efforts Helped Communities Return to Normal after Matthew

TALLAHASSEE — The Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) reports that Florida utilities’ storm preparation and restoration efforts helped communities effectively weather Hurricane Matthew and quickly return to normal after its exit on October 7.

“We appreciate the teamwork and mutual aid between utilities that worked together in hard-hit communities to return power to schools, businesses, and homes as quickly as possible,” said PSC Chairman Julie Brown.  “Overall the fast, efficient, and thorough response of Florida’s utilities to aggressively restore power until the last customer’s lights are back on is a tribute to our state’s resiliency.”

The PSC holds annual storm hardening workshops, usually in March, where utilities present updates to their facility and transmission storm hardening activities.  Utility hardening plans include the gathering of forensic data that will be analyzed.  Hurricane Matthew will be the first real test of the system in more than ten years. 

“Florida’s investor-owned utilities now collect and instantly incorporate real-time outage data into their storm restoration efforts,” said Chairman Brown.  “Following Hurricane Matthew, utilities communicated directly with customers, providing real-time information through social media, smartphone, and tablet applications. Florida’s utilities are setting the model for storm restoration plans used across the industry.”

Chairman Brown also said that she’s proud of the PSC’s hurricane recovery contributions.  During the storm’s aftermath, PSC employees worked around the clock at Florida’s Emergency Operations Center to make sure accurate power outage/restoration reports were released to the public.  Other PSC employees spent hours managing or manning Florida’s Emergency Information Line to provide residents with appropriate shelter, evacuation route, and other storm-related information. 

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