A crew with Duke Engergy works to restore power along County Rd. 635, in Sebring, Florida, after outages caused by Hurricane Irma. [Courtesy: Duke Energy]
OVEIDO, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - Thousands of Central Floridians are still in the dark. They’re frustrated and wondering when their power will come back on. Duke Energy says help is on the way.
So far, Duke Energy has restored power to 800,000 customers across Florida but there are still nearly 600,000 customers without power. So, there’s more work to be done.
Hundreds of utility trucks rolled out early this morning from the Oviedo Mall, Duke Energy’s base camp.
“They’re frustrated that they still don’t have power, some people across the street have power but they don’t, we hear a lot of concerns,” said Kenny Creel, a Duke Energy worker from Panama City. “But Duke is doing the best they can to get the power back on and as fast as they can.”
From a birds-eye view you can see hundreds of trucks and equipment staged at the Oviedo mall Thursday morning.
“This is where they’re storing their trucks overnight and from here we bus them to hotels, bring them back here this is where they can get meals,” said a Duke Energy Spokesman Lee Freedman.
That way they can stay out on the road, working on restoring power. Utility workers came as far as Ontario, Canada. Many other workers came from Texas. Armando Lozano said he’s been working non-stop since Hurricane Harvey hit his state.
“We were working about 16 hours a day,” said the Texas Duke Energy worker Armando Lozano.
As he held his Redbull, he told us he’s been receiving so much Florida love as he’s out with his crew working to restore power.
“They just give us a hand clap, throw us kisses, you know it’s all great, it makes us feel good, it makes us feel real good,” said Lozano.
He doesn’t know when he’ll be back home but one thing is for sure he said they’re not leaving until everyone has power.
Duke Energy said if you had power during the hurricane and now it’s turned off that’s because they’re working on a particular circuit in your neighborhood. They need to make sure it’s safe to work on to restore power for other customers. They’re goal is to restore power to all their customers by Sunday night.