Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Progress Energy behind late night rumble in St. Petersburg

ST. PETERSBURG — Hear that rumbling emanating from the east late last night, St. Petersburg residents? An earthquake? No. Black Ops next-generation engine test at MacDill? No. Sea monster roused by the desalination plant?

No. Just a "steam blow" at the Progress Energy plant on Weedon Island.

The plant's internal piping has been undergoing an internal steam cleaning for several weeks in a final phase of preparing for a transition from fuel oil to natural gas burning this summer, said Progress Energy spokeswoman Suzanne Grant. This rumble-inducing phase will be complete in two to three days, she said, so there could be another noisy night or two.

"We use silencers to mitigate any noise issues, but we understand there was a rumble some heard," Grant said. "We apologize if it caused any unrest.''

The process has been continuous for several days, she said, but the noise is not generally noticeable until the quiet of night.

Some residents were not happy about it.

Ray Plato, a 72-year-old retired teacher who has lived on Shore Acres for 40 years, said the noise woke him up at 3 a.m.

"I'm grumpy as hell when I don't get my sleep,'' he said. "If you lived anywhere in the city you had to have heard it. I thought I woke up in Dante's Inferno. It sounded like I was sitting on the wing of a 747.

"I'm thinking that even the most indifferent bureaucrat wouldn't inconvenience the taxpaying public at night,'' he said. "Half the city had to be awake last night.''

St. Petersburg police received a few calls about noise, which they referred to the Sheriff's Office because the plant is outside city limits.

Progress Energy behind late night rumble in St. Petersburg 03/12/09 [Last modified: Friday, March 13, 2009 7:09am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Forecast: Lots of sunshine, low humidity to start Memorial Day weekend


    The start of your long Memorial Day weekend is all sunshine this Saturday, according to WTSP 10Weather meteorologist Rick Kearbey.

    WTSP seven-day forecast on May 27, 2017.
  2. For starters: Rays at Twins, looking for another with Odorizzi starting


    UPDATE, 11:01: No Dickerson today as the Rays go with seven right-handers.

    Here is the lineup:

  3. Global computer outage grounds British flights


    LONDON — British Airways canceled all flights from London's Heathrow and Gatwick airports Saturday as a global IT failure caused severe disruption for travelers on a busy holiday weekend.

    British Airways planes are parked at Heathrow Airport in January. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein, file)
  4. Road rage incident leaves uninvolved man, 52, with critical injuries in Pinellas Park


    PINELLAS PARK — A 52-year-old man was critically injured after an apparent road rage incident that shut down the area of a U.S. 19 overpass for nearly six hours on Friday, police said.

    Pinellas Park police say a man has critical injuries after a truck involved in a road rage incident slammed into him after he cut off another vehicle. (Pinellas Park Police Department)
  5. Britain lowers terror threat level to 'severe' as more arrested


    MANCHESTER, England — Britain reduced its terrorism threat level a notch, from "critical" to "severe," as authorities said major progress has been made in unravelling the plot behind the Manchester bombing. More arrests are expected.

    An army bomb disposal team works with members of the police in the Moss Side area of Manchester, England, on Saturday. British police say they are evacuating residents around a house being searched in connection with the Manchester concert bombing. Police are searching a number of properties and have 11 suspects in custody in connection with Monday's explosion at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, which killed more than 20 people and injured dozens. (Jonathan Brady/PA via AP)