With Hurricane Idalia now passed, Duke Energy has completed its damage assessment and determined almost all customers in the hardest hit areas — 95% — will have power back no later than 11:30 p.m. on Sunday.
Many customers will have the lights back on sooner before that self-imposed deadline, however, provided there are not additional complications.
In rare cases, some customers may see further delay due to things like flooding or the need for electrician inspection.
Duke Energy has a phased plan to reach its goal by Sunday night.
Several counties should have almost all power restored by Friday at 11:30 p.m., including Alachua, Dixie, Gilchrist, Jefferson, Lafayette, Levy and Suwannee counties.
Columbia and Taylor counties can expect the lights to come back on by 11:30 p.m. on Saturday.
The latest deadline, on Sunday, is for Hamilton and Madison counties.
As of 3 p.m. Thursday, Duke Energy had restored power to 156,000 customers in its service area. Nearly all impacted customers outside of the hardest hit areas have been restored.
Customers who are flooded must have a licensed electrician inspect the property before power can be restored.
Other extenuating circumstances could leave some customers without power for longer. If a customer’s meter box is pulled away from their house or mobile home service pole, that customer must first have an electrician reattach the box or provide a permanent fix before Duke Energy may restore power. Some areas require an electrician inspection before power restoration can be delivered. An electrician can provide next steps for those unsure.
Duke Energy reminds customers as they work through recovery efforts to stay away from fallen or sagging power lines and to consider all lines energized, as well as any trees, limbs, fences or other objects in contact with lines.
Electrical customers biding their time off the grid with generators are urged to set them up outside and, for crew safety, to turn generators off when crews are in the area. Customers should avoid downed power lines and electrical wires in water, including while driving.