Gabrielle leaves 220,000 without power on Florida’s west coast

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., Sept. 14, 2001 — Tropical storm Gabrielle left at least 220,000 west coast customers without electrical power today as it hurled high winds and torrential rains and spawned tornadoes.

With help from its sister company CP&L, Florida Power will bring 400 line and service and tree trimming personnel from the Carolinas to Florida to assist in restoring power outages caused by Tropical Storm Gabrielle. More than 7,000 utility workers are already restoring power in several counties.

The storm has pelted the west coast with strong winds and heavy rains, leaving at least 220,000 people without power, the Florida Division of Emergency Management said.

Early this morning, CP&L sent 250 line and service and 150 tree trimming personnel to assist the 800 Florida Power crews already working to restore power outages. CP&L will also send a team from is storm operations and planning group.

“It’s a tremendous asset to be able to draw on experienced personnel who have successfully battled five hurricanes in the past five years,” said Robert Sipes, Florida Power’s storm coordinator. “We have a great team here at Florida Power, and bringing in reinforcements from CP&L will allow us to restore outages more quickly and as safely as possible.”

Upon arrival in Florida, crews will be deployed to the hardest hit areas.

SOURCE: Progress Energy, Inc.

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