Despite dodging a direct hit from Hurricane Ian, wind and rain from the storm caused widespread power outages in the co-op’s 14-county service territory on Sept. 28 and 29.
At the height of the storm, about 30,000 accounts were without power. More than 70 percent of members had their lights back on in 24 hours and restoration was substantially complete on Sept. 30. About 1,000 accounts hit hardest in Lake, Marion, Putnam and Volusia Counties had their service back by Oct. 1. The storm caused several individual outages that took longer to restore and some areas had more extensive damage to repair.
Initially, forecasts were dire for North Central Florida and Ian was going to crawl across the area.
The co-op began monitoring the storm and gathering materials Sept. 23.
“We always prepare for the worst and hope for the best,” said Clay Electric General Manager/CEO Ricky Davis. “I’m proud of our crews’ swift power restoration efforts, and our hearts and prayers are with everyone who was not as fortunate as we were with the storm.”
Outside crews from West Florida Electric Cooperative, Pike Electric and numerous contract crews assisted co-op personnel in the restoration process.
The official Atlantic Hurricane Season continues until Nov. 30 and Clay Electric urges its members to be storm ready. To help you prepare, the co-op offers a list of preparations in an annual hurricane guide. It is available here and at the co-op’s six district offices, as are generator safety instructions, a supply list and answers to frequently asked questions.