With parts of Central Florida still in the dark, Duke Energy explains

One block in Seminole County never lost power

By Matt Petrillo - Reporter

SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. - On Nicholas Lane in Forest City, the lights are on -- and have been all throughout Hurricane Irma.

"We didn't lose power at all, so woo hoo!" said Joe Budd, who lives on the street. "I was pretty thankful."

But down the road on Cecilia Drive, the hum of generators reminds neighbors, "We have no power. And it's been a kind of hot week," Teresa Moro said.

Duke Energy promised people who live on Cecilia Drive that its crew members were working around the clock to turn the lights back on before Monday morning. Now, crews are saying it could take several more days.

But a bigger concern than a lack of power is the power lines. News 6 found some lines dangling off utility poles and downed in ditches, on top of runoff water.

"It's dangerous for the kids walking by here and just dangerous for anyone," Brad Rigby said.

That's partly why the Seminole County School District is getting results and moving more than 40 bus stops for pickup Monday morning. For specifics, visit this website.

News 6 also checked with a few other school districts, and many are encouraging parents to walk their children to their bus stops in the morning to make sure conditions are safe.

But parents want Duke Energy to do its part and pick up the power lines.

"The first thing we'd like is to address (is) the safety concerns here," Rigby said.
Duke Energy said in statement that everyone should always assume power lines are live and to not go near them.

"Hurricane Irma was the most significant storm to ever hit Duke Energy’s service territory in Florida," the company said. "Hurricane Irma affected every one of our 35 counties — some more than others."

Duke Energy added that, "Crews work on the larger infrastructure first from transmission lines to substations and then to distribution lines. Fixing a secondary line when a transmission line needs to be addressed would not restore power."

Duke Energy on Sunday night announced that more than 90 percent of customers’ power has been restored in 21 counties. The company also provides revised restoration times for the remainder of the people still without power.

  • By 11 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 18 – Alachua, Citrus, Hamilton, Hernando, Levy, Marion, Seminole and Sumter counties.
  • By 11 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 19 – The severely impacted areas of Hardee, Highlands, Lake, Polk and Volusia counties. Also the northern Orange and Lake County border due to rebuilding the electrical system that suffered significant damage in those areas.

Here's the latest from Duke Energy.

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