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FPUA Suspends Restoration on South Hutchinson Island Due to Wind Speeds

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FPUA
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Crews will continue to restore service on the mainland until sustained winds exceed 35 mph.

Fort Pierce - Wednesday November 9, 2022: The Fort Pierce Public Utility Authority (FPUA) has suspended power restoration services on South Hutchinson Island in Fort Pierce after wind speeds began to exceed 35 mph from Hurricane Nicole.

Sustained winds above 35 mph pose a danger to field crews and bucket trucks, requiring staff to suspend restoration in the area until conditions improve.

“The safety of our customers, and safety of the dedicated crews working tirelessly to restore power to the Fort Pierce community, are of the utmost importance to us,” said Javier Cisneros, FPUA Director of Utilities. “As we address the impacts of Hurricane Nicole, it is vital that we all follow these important safety precautions. We appreciate everyone’s partnership and cooperation during this critical time.”

A Hurricane Warning and Storm Surge Warning remain in effect for St. Lucie County with Tropical Storm conditions occurring along portions of the East coast throughout the day today, with elevated tides and wave heights of 12 to 22 feet. Hurricane conditions are possible in our area tonight or Thursday morning.

FPUA reminds customers to:

  • Never, ever touch a downed power line or go near one. Always assume the power line is live.
  • Do not touch anything or anyone in contact with a fallen power line or other equipment.
  • If a power line falls on your car, stay inside the vehicle and call for help.
  • Do not pull tree limbs off power lines. Leave those for utility crews to safely handle.
  • Avoid areas with debris and downed trees. There could be live power lines hidden inside.
  • Also avoid chain link fences and puddles that could have become electrified by downed power lines.
  • After the storm, inspect your home’s weatherhead. The weatherhead is located above the electric meter where the electrical wires exit the conduit. The weatherhead is the homeowner’s responsibility, and utility workers cannot reconnect service if it is damaged. Contact a licensed electrician for repairs.
  • Never use an electrical device if it got wet. If it’s still plugged in, turn off the power at the main breaker. Wait for an electrician to check the device before using it.

For customers using generators:

  • Operate portable generators in an open and ventilated area, never in the home or garage.
  • Do not directly connect generators into your home’s main electrical system. This could create a back feed to the power grid and injure people working to restore the power.
  • Always place the generator at least 15-20 feet from the house and away from doors and windows.
  • Use battery-operated carbon monoxide alarms in your home and garage so you can detect any dangerous amounts of emissions when running a generator.
  • Don’t run a portable generator in the rain unless it is covered and you are able to vent it.
  • Make sure hands and feet are dry before touching or starting the generator. Avoid standing near wet areas or puddles when operating your generator.
  • Before refueling, turn off a gas-powered generator and let it cool. Gasoline spilled on hot engine parts can ignite. Allowing the engine to cool also reduces the risks of burns while refueling.
  • Turn off your generator before turning your house power back on.

Visit www.FPUA.com/StormCenter/ for more storm tips and links. Please call FPUA’s emergency number at 772-466-7703 in the event of any of the following:

  • If you smell gas evacuate immediately and call FPUA’s emergency phone number.
  • Report broken sewer or water lines to FPUA’s emergency number.
  • Don’t touch loose or dangling wires. Call FPUA’s emergency number to report damage to utility lines or poles.

About FPUA: Fort Pierce Utilities Authority is a municipal, not-for-profit utility provider. Public utility systems are owned by the people they serve. All benefits from our locally controlled utility remain right here in the community.

Additional information is available at www.fpua.com.