Florida Keys Electric Cooperative Association
Florida Keys Electric Cooperative Association
Florida Keys Electric Cooperative Association

FKEC Press Releases

September 12, 2017

Post-Storm: Irma Update

Sept. 12 • 1:30PM

Power restoration by Florida Keys Electric Cooperative has begun in the Upper and Middle Keys. We are happy to report our transmission line from the mainland to Marathon is intact and our high-level assessment, completed yesterday, revealed our distribution system did not experience wide-spread damage. This means the backbone of our power system withstood Irma’s impact well. 


Today as we continue to evaluate the damage, we are focusing on the main distribution feeders that deliver power from our substations to our neighborhoods. Tomorrow our FKEC crews, along with the outside assistance arriving today, will be assigned to zones and work from Key Largo to Marathon restoring power. 


It is important to remember, work is organized to restore power to the greatest number of members in the least amount of time. FKEC also prioritizes restoring power to life and safety situations and essential community services. Following this, crews work to restore power to individual members with isolated issues. 


Today, FKEC also continues to organize the 300+ restoration and support personnel arriving to get the power on for our communities. In addition to linemen, tree crews, and assessment teams coming, we also have all the personnel and supplies needed to house, feed and shower these workers. 


We appreciate the support and patience of our members while we bring power back to the Upper and Middle Keys. We are also working with KEYS Energy, the Lower Keys provider, to lend them support. Please stay safe, and remember to treat all down cable and wires as if they are energized and stay away. 


Communication:

Currently cell phone and internet service continue to be spotty in the Florida Keys. Please bare with us as we wait for ATT to address this issue. 



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Sept. 11 • 5:30PM

Today we began assessing our power system by land and by air. We are also coordinating the return of our employees and outside assistance, all of which have been strategically planned. Please note, restoration can only begin once medical care is available to our crews. We appreciate your patiences while we begin the restoration process. 


We will keep you informed with the latest news as it is available. For #PostStorm resources and safety tips, please visit http://www.fkec.com/Cooperative/stormcenter.cfm#downedlines 


Sept. 10 • 5:00PM

The wind is still blowing strong and rain continues. At this time 27,000 of our 32,000 accounts are without power. Unfortunately, power is out completely from Snake Creek through Key West; However, we continue to have transmission service from the mainland to Tavernier.

 

The bulk of the assistance we requested well-before Irma’s impact is already on its way. We hope to have this outside man-power and resources staged in Homestead by Tuesday. Their arrival into the Keys will be decided when the road is deemed safe for travel by our Sheriff’s Office and Department of Transportation. Restoration crews will be given priority access. Please remember, no crews can begin work until medical care is available to our crews.

 

In the mean time, we hope to be able to start our preliminary damage assessments tomorrow. If conditions allow, we will use a helicopter to conduct a high-level damage assessment and also to check on our Marathon facilities and people. At this time their is no cell phone, land line telephone or internet service at least from Marathon through Key West.


We will also begin a comprehensive assessment from the ground, although, this will be a slow process because the roadways are littered with debris.


SAFETY FIRST:

At this time we urge all our members to stay safely in place. After Irma passes, allow first responders to assess your area and clear roads before you leave your shelter. Always assume all cables and wires are energized and stay away! Stay away from flooded areas, or standing water and debris, these can conceal ”energized” electrical wires. 


Continue to put your safety first!


Sept. 10 • 8:00AM

Hurricane Irma is currently impacting our Middle and Upper Keys territories. Both are experiencing hurricane force winds with Marathon taking the brunt. At this moment (8:30AM) at least 75% of our power system in the Middle and Upper Keys is without power and that will continue to increase as Irma passes. 


Our Cat 5 hurricane rated Tavernier operations center continues to stand strong protecting the equipment and materials needed once Irma passes and restoration efforts can beginThe good new is, so far both transmission lines are still energized to our Tavernier substation. The transmission circuit from Tavernier going to Marathon is not energized. Attempts to re-energize that line remotely failed. It appears we are still facing several hours of storm conditions.


Please remember, we cannot begin any power restoration work until Irma passes and medical care service reopen. 


Continue to be safe. 


Sept. 7 • 5:00PM

Please be advised that at 7pm this evening (Sept. 7) FKEC can no longer respond to any calls or outages until Hurricane Irma passes and medical services are available for our workers.

Please stay safe during this severe weather. 


Sept. 6 • 12:00PM

Florida Keys Electric Cooperative is completing preparations for Hurricane Irma. Due to the evacuation order, we are advising our employees to seek safety for themselves and their families. 

  • Beginning tomorrow (Thursday, Sept. 7) both the Tavernier and Marathon FKEC business offices will be closed.
  • Additionally, we will have extreme limited ability to respond to routine power outages even before conditions deteriorate.

Please remember, following Irma power restoration work cannot begin until weather conditions allow and medical care services are available. We will keep our members informed of restoration efforts to the best of our ability via social media, our website, text and email. 


FKEC urges its members, staff and families to take all necessary precautions to stay safe.


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FKEC’s comprehensive storm plan focuses on readiness, restoration and recovery. Prior to every storm season, FKEC conducts extensive training to prepare employees to respond quickly and safely after a storm. The Cooperative also coordinate assistance agreements with other utilities for additional support, which enables FKEC to quickly deploy equipment and crews in the event a storm causes damage to our service territory.


FKEC also works closely with emergency operations officials to update lists of infrastructure and facilities that are critical to the community, such as hospitals, police, fire, communications, water treatment plants and transportation providers. This information is used to establish priorities for restoration in areas affected by a storm.


 

Florida Keys Electric Cooperative Association
Florida Keys Electric Cooperative Association