Tropical Storm Nicole knocked out power Thursday morning to more than 200,000 people in Florida, including tens of thousands of customers in the Tampa Bay area.
By 5 p.m. Thursday, about 5,000 Duke customers remained without power in Pinellas County, while Pasco County had less than 1,000. A little more than 6,000 remained without power in Tampa Electric’s service area, which includes Hillsborough County and parts of Polk and eastern Pasco counties.
Local outages peaked about mid-day, when Duke Energy was reported close to 100,000 of their customers without power statewide, mostly on the east coast and in central Florida. The total included about 15,000 customers in Pinellas County and another 3,000 in Pasco County. Tampa Electric reported a peak total of about 20,000 customers without power.
Florida Power & Light, which serves much of South Florida and the state’s east coast, was reporting more than 100,000 outages Thursday morning, though many outages had been restored late Thursday.
Nicole made landfall around 3 a.m. near Vero Beach, as a Category 1 hurricane. The storm was quickly downgraded to a tropical storm, but it is bringing heavy rain and high winds to all of Florida, including the Tampa Bay area. The storm is expected to decrease in strength throughout Thursday as it moves west across the state.
Duke Energy assembled linemen and support personnel at Tropicana Field late Wednesday to prepare them to deploy once the storm passes. The company said in a statement that crews will work to restore power unless conditions make it unsafe to do so. Restoration could be delayed in some places as high winds persist.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Wednesday said 16,000 linemen were on standby to help restore power.
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2022 Tampa Bay Times Hurricane Guide
IT'S STORM SEASON: Get ready and stay informed at tampabay.com/hurricane.
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WHAT TO DO IF HURRICANE DAMAGES YOUR HOME: Stay calm, then call your insurance company.
PREPARING FOR A HURRICANE: Make a plan, listen to experts, and know there’s help available if you need it.
DOUBLE-CHECK: Checklists for building all kinds of hurricane kits
PHONE IT IN: Use your smartphone to protect your data, documents and photos.
SELF-CARE: Protect your mental health during a hurricane.
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Rising Threat: A special report on flood risk and climate change
PART 1: The Tampa Bay Times partnered with the National Hurricane Center for a revealing look at future storms.
PART 2: Even weak hurricanes can cause huge storm surges. Experts say people don't understand the risk.
PART 3: Tampa Bay has huge flood risk. What should we do about it?
INTERACTIVE MAP: Search your Tampa Bay neighborhood to see the hurricane flood risk.