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Emergency Crews Pleased With Response To Power Failure

February 27th, 2008 by flanews

Wednesday’s power outage knocked out electricity to people well outside the problem area. Four million people in more than 30 counties were without power. As Whitney Ray tells us, the electric lines were tripped in the southern part of the state to keep from destroying the system but the preventive measure meant more Floridians lost power.

Hear it here: Emergency Crews Pleased With Response To Power Failure

Florida’s Emergency Operation’s Center was activated within ten minutes of Tuesday’s power failure. Emergency manager Craig Fugate said the key is preparation.

“You’ve got to practice, you’ve got to train, you’ve go to have the facilities, that’s the lesson of always doing exercises and not always doing announced exercises,” said Fugate.

The alert included putting the national guard on stand by. A guard spokesman said 5,000 troops could have been on the ground to direct traffic and protect homes by rush hour Tuesday. The troops remained on stand by even though emergency managers were assured power would come back quickly. The problem originated at the nuclear power plant at Turkey Point, but the outage spread, to more than 30 counties. Power was restored in some areas with in 30 minutes, in others, just a few hours. The reason electricity came back so quickly is also the reason why so many people outside the damage area lost power in the first place.

“The system did what it was supposed to do. It protected itself by the circuit breaker going off, so it didn’t destroy or damage equipment and allowed it to bring the system back up quickly,” said Fugate.

Emergency workers are pleased with the rapid response to the power failure. They hope utility workers can get to the source of the problem and find a better way to contain future outages. Yesterday’s black out was the largest to hit Florida in more than 20 years. In all 20 substations owned by four different power companies were shut down.

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