Tallahassee Utility Asks For Public’s Help As Workers Restore Power

Oct 11, 2018

Thousands of trees fell in Tallahassee during Hurricane Michael knocking out power for more than 90 percent of the city's customers.
Credit Robbie Gaffney

As electric utility crews work to get area residents back online, Rob McGarrah, general manager of Tallahassee’s electric utility is asking for patience and a little help.

"There are a couple things that our customers can do to help us. One is don’t get out on the roads more than they have to because the more people that are out o the streets and out in the city, the more people we have to be careful around as we’re doing out work. We’ve got to move our equipment through the city and it’s large equipment pulling pull trailers—so the less traffic that’s out there that we have to deal with the better. And two, while we appreciate the sentiment where folks come up to our crews and want to thank them for the work they’re doing—every time somebody comes up to our work zone we have to stop them for safety reasons,” McGarrah says.

McGarrah says crews would rather have the time to focus on their work.

Tallahassee electric officials are also asking residents without power to unplug or turn off their major appliances to avoid an intense power draw from the city’s system when it comes back on.

If everybody’s refrigerator and air conditioning comes on at the same time, it pulls an extraordinary load on the wires and on the system, so we always ask our customers that when there is an outage if you would turn off your TVs, turn off your computers, turn off your air conditioning—turn off your major appliances and then when the power comes on, you can then go turn them on.” McGarrah says.

McGarrah says turning off appliances also helps avoid a power surge that could damage electronics as the power comes back.