Approximately 5.12% of Clay County is experiencing power outages from Tropical Storm Ian, according to the Clay Electric interactive outage map. A large majority of these outages have been reported by Fleming Island residents along Highway 17, where 2,439 homes are experiencing outages.
Clay Electric CEO Ricky Davis said that Clay Electric has extra crews from Missouri and Texas dispatched throughout the county, along with their normal crews in the county.
“I wish I could tell you how quickly we will be able to have your power back on, but there are a lot of factors that play into that,” he said during a Tuesday press conference. “The most important thing is to have a plan and to listen to the county mandates if you are in an evacuation zone.”
The company utilizes its outage management system to track and dispatch outages as they are reported by members, Chief Public Relations Officer Derick Thomas said. More outages are expected throughout Thursday, Sept. 29 and Friday, Sept. 30 as the storm leaves Florida.
The outages are mostly impacting the Eastern side of Clay County due to the storm moving eastward and an increase in wind speed, he said. The majority of outages are attributed to fallen vegetation on Clay Electric’s distribution system.
“We have 200 outside restoration personnel coming to assist plus all of Clay Electric’s employees working to restore power as safely and quickly as possible throughout our entire service area,” Thomas said. “Be patient. We are working around the clock to get everyone’s power restored as safely and quickly as possible.”
The company issued a statement via Twitter:
“If you lose power and 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.”
Davis stressed the importance of avoiding power lines and vegetation that is knocked down due to the storm. Clay Electric serves 14 counties and the company is prepared for the storm, but cannot guarantee immediate reestablishment of power and connection, Davis said.
Clay County Public Works employees are already out in the community ensuring roadways are cleared and fallen vegetation are taken care of, County Public Information Officer Laura Christmas said.
Residents in the “News 4 Clay County” Facebook group have reported several outages in their designated areas. These locations include along County Road 220, Scenic Drive in Middleburg and along County Road 218, according to residents.
Click here to report an outage to Clay Electric.