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Fallen trees cause mass power outages in Tallahassee, says Andrew Gillum

Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum described widespread power outages in Tallahassee Wednesday afternoon as Hurricane Michael lashed the city.

In an interview with MSNBC’s Brian Williams, Mayor Gillum (the Democratic nominee for Governor) noted the city’s legendary tree canopy, combined with the force of the storm, has already spawned tens of thousands of power outages in the capital city.

The threat from the storm for Tallahassee, Gillum said, “is the possibility of downed trees.”

“Already we’ve seen trees come down on power lines, on homes, and vehicles,” Gillum said. “So far we’ve got north of 45,000 of our utility customers that are out.”

That includes the Emergency Operations Center, Gillum said, which is running on generator power as of Wednesday afternoon.

“The strongest winds still are coming in,” Gillum said, until 8 p.m.

Gillum’s storm management is under especial scrutiny after ads from the Republican Party of Florida that lambasted him for delays in power restoration during Hurricane Hermine.

Hermine saw 100,000 customers without power; restoration took a week.

However, it’s hard to find anyone willing to defend those ads, even as they ran throughout the runup to Michael’s unprecedented landfall as a strong Category 4 storm in mid-October.

We asked Republican Ron DeSantis, in Jacksonville Wednesday morning for a rally turned collection of hurricane relief supplies, about the provenance of the ads, and he sidestepped the question.

“There will be time for us to deal with that,” DeSantis said.

Written By

A.G. Gancarski has been a working journalist for over two decades, with bylines in national and local publications alike on subjects ranging from pop music to national and global politics. Gancarski has been a correspondent for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014, and has held a column in Jacksonville, Florida's Folio Weekly for two decades. In 2018, he was a finalist for an Association of Alternative Newsweeklies "best political column." Gancarski is a frequent presence on Jacksonville television and radio, including fill-in slots on WJCT-FM's award-winning talk show "First Coast Connect." He can be reached at a.g.gancarski@gmail.com.

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