TAMPA, Fla. — As the Bay area prepares for Hurricane Ian, Tampa Electric is warning that it may proactively shut down power to portions of the city starting Wednesday morning.
If conditions warrant, power will be shut down for a small portion of evacuation Zone A — the southern tip of Downtown Tampa. A mandatory evacuation was already issued for residents within Zone A on Monday.
The county expanded the mandatory evacuation to Zone B on Tuesday.
If you aren't sure what evacuation zone you live in, you can find that by clicking here.
TECO's proactive outage is expected to affect Harbor Island, two Channelside hotels, the transportation center and most of Davis Islands. It will not affect Tampa General Hospital.
"By proactively shutting down certain parts of the network ahead of the storm, Tampa Electric can avoid serious damage to the underground equipment from saltwater storm surge, which will significantly shorten restoration time after the storm. The affected area is under a mandatory evacuation order," the company wrote in a release.
If your power goes out during the storm, you can report it by:
- Logging onto your online TECO account
- Texting OUT to 27079. Receive updates on your reported outage by texting UPDATE or STATUS.
- Calling 1-877-588-1010
Tampa Electric also provided safety tips to keep in mind ahead of a hurricane:
- Stay away from downed power lines.
- Do not connect your portable generator to your home’s circuits. This could pose life-threatening dangers to restoration crews. Instead, plug your appliances directly into the generator.
- Do not take portable generators into enclosed spaces like garages where deadly carbon monoxide gases could build up.
- Stay out of floodwaters, as they can hide energized power lines.
“The safety of our customers and our equipment is our top priority, and if you live in an evacuated zone, I urge you to take immediate action,” wrote Archie Collins, the president and chief executive officer of TECO. “Hurricane Ian is a large and unpredictable storm. While the path remains uncertain, we anticipate significant storm surge, and I encourage our customers to prepare for extended power outages.”