Clay Electric is keeping a close eye on Tropical Storm Idalia, which has sparked storm surge and hurricane warnings for portions of Florida’s west coast.
On Monday afternoon, the National Weather Service says life-threatening storm surge and dangerous winds are becoming increasingly likely for parts of the state, and Clay Electric strongly recommends everyone keep watch on the storm’s projected path and make plans. Idalia could pose a serious threat to Clay Electric’s 14-county service area.
Right now, the co-op is reviewing inventory of materials and bringing them up to necessary levels if widespread power outages occur. Clay Electric’s Fleet Service Department is ensuring the co-op’s gas supply is at adequate levels and all vehicles are fueled.
If Idalia strikes Clay Electric’s service area, restoration efforts will begin as soon as it is safe to do so, and crews will make every effort to restore power as quickly and safely as possible.
Clay Electric’s General Manager Ricky Davis has met with Chief Operations Office Bryan Gunter to begin bringing in outside crews to help Clay restore service if Idalia causes extensive outages within the co-op’s service area.
“We want to be proactive in securing the necessary resources to restore power to our members as efficiently and safely as possible,” Davis said. “These steps are to ensure we remain ahead of the curve.”
Clay Electric Chief Public Relations Officer Derick Thomas said Clay Electric members should review their storm plans and ensure they have an adequate supply of drinking water, non-perishable foods, canned goods and necessary medications.
“Hurricanes are a major inconvenience for everyone,” Thomas said. “Our families will be facing this difficult situation with you.”
To help members prepare for a storm, the co-op offers a list of preparations in an annual hurricane guide. It is available here, as are generator safety instructions, a supply list and answers to frequently asked questions.
Here are some things to keep in mind:
- If you or a family member depend on power for medical reasons, have somewhere to go that is out of harm’s way, or have a generator handy.
- If you use a generator, know how to operate it safely, and do not hook it up to your home’s wiring system. It could backfeed into our distribution system and kill or injure personnel making repairs.
- When venturing outdoors after the storm, be careful of low-hanging or downed power lines, which may still be energized.
- Additional information and updates about Clay Electric’s preparation and response to Tropical Storm Idalia will be shared on Facebook and ClayElectric.com.