KISSIMMEE, Fla., October 23, 5:30 p.m. – Kissimmee Utility Authority (KUA), Florida’s sixth largest municipal utility, has completed preparations for Hurricane Wilma and her anticipated arrival on Monday.
The utility today elevated its storm readiness to Level 4 — indicating that the projected storm path will bring tropical storm or hurricane force winds to the KUA service territory within the next 24 hours. The alert level will be raised again at 12 hours prior to the storm’s arrival.
Here are frequently asked questions surrounding hurricanes and power outages:
Q. What should I do to report a power outage?
A. Call 407-933-7777. Be prepared to give the following information: account number, address, telephone number and nature of problem (power outage, partial power, dim or flickering lights, etc.) Remember, always treat a downed power line as if it were “live.”
Q. Is it true KUA automatically turns the power off during a hurricane?
A. No, KUA will not automatically turn the power off unless specifically directed to by Osceola County emergency management officials.
Q. How long will I be without power?
A. KUA employees work tirelessly to restore power as quickly and safely as possible after a storm or hurricane – including bringing in crews from other areas to assist, if necessary.
Q. Is there a priority system for restoring power during major outages?
A. After we repair our power plants and the lines that carry electricity from them, we restore customers who provide essential services to the community, including hospitals, care facilities and police/fire stations. Then, we repair damage that will return power to the greatest number of customers in the least amount of time. Finally, we restore small neighborhoods and individual customers.
Q. What is the loud noise that occasionally occurs before a power outage?
A. KUA and other electric utilities use fuses to protect equipment and lines. The loud noise is a fuse blowing to prevent damage to the system.
Q. Should I attempt to connect my portable electric generator to the electrical system within my home or on KUA’s system?
A. No. Such an attempt could prove deadly. Portable generators are intended to be connected directly to appliances or other equipment. Attempting to plug in to the system could cause the system to back feed, start an electrical fire or could result in shock or electrocution of a utility worker.
Q. If a storm damages electrical wires inside my home, is KUA responsible for repairs?
A. Typically, no. KUA is responsible for providing power to your meter and service entrance or “weather head.” Beyond that, the customer is responsible for repairs. Contact a qualified electrician if damage is suspected.
KUA will post daily updates related to power outages and restoration at www.kua.com. Customers can also check local media outlets for the latest information.
Founded in 1901, KUA (www.kua.com) is Florida’s sixth largest community-owned utility providing electric and telecommunication services to 170,000 residents in five Central Florida counties.
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Chris M. Gent
(407) 933-7777 x 1116