When faced with an outage, you may find yourself wondering, “What’s going on?” Yet power outages are often a result of events beyond anyone’s control, including Lakeland Electric’s. Here are the top eight things that can cause power outages in Lakeland:

• Animals: Ever seen a squirrel running along a power line? Although we try to avoid wildlife coming into contact with our electrical equipment, it can still happen from time to time; they can still get in and cause a short circuit.

• Thunderstorms: Extreme wind or thunderstorms with lightning can cause power outages. Wind can damage power lines, even knocking over poles, which results in a power outage until Lakeland Electric can fix it. When lightning strikes electrical equipment, damage may occur to our equipment, resulting in outages. If lightning does strike your home or business, call the fire department to assess the situation to make sure there is no fire in the building; you will need to inspect your breakers to make sure they are functioning properly.

• Accidents: Have you ever seen a car crash into a light pole? Accidents can affect the power grid when they knock down power poles. Even if there is minimal damage, the power may be cut while repairs are performed.

• Excavations: Whether for building a foundation, gardening, planting or uprooting a tree, or any other digging purpose, safe digging is everyone’s responsibility. Excavations can cut into underground cables causing damage, resulting in outages, injuries and sometimes death. That’s why it is so important (actually it’s the law) to call Sunshine 811 to have buried utilities located and marked before you dig. This is a free service for your safety, your family’s safety and the safety of our community.

• Maintenance: Every infrastructure requires improvements and repairs to be dependable and sustainable. Our electricity service is no exception. In these cases, when Lakeland Electric foresees repairs, you’ll likely be notified in advance. This way, you can be prepared for the upcoming power outage.

• Trees: Rain and strong wind can cause trees to fall on our power lines. Our team of arborists have a comprehensive vegetation management plan and a responsive safety program to prevent contact with the power lines. If you are planning to remove or prune a tree near the lines, or if you have hired a residential tree service, please call or submit a Tree Trimming Request. We will inspect the tree and provide appropriate measures to keep everyone safe.

• Tornadoes: Severe thunderstorms and hurricanes can bring in tornadoes that cause more damage to our electrical grid and community that result in extended outages.

• Hurricanes: When there’s a hurricane, large or small, the power grid may be affected. Downed power lines and damaged equipment can cause extended power outages that last for three to seven days. Following a hurricane, it may take several days to restore services and clear roads. It may even take longer to remove all the debris from neighborhoods. We can’t guarantee things will be fixed overnight but we can guarantee we won’t rest until they are.
There are many other reasons that a power outage may occur, but these are the most common.

Lakeland Electric strives to provide power quality and reliability to our customers. This means constant attention and investment in our electrical system. Every year, Florida is subject to hurricane-force winds that can cause extensive damage to our electric utility infrastructure. We are currently working several projects as part of a system-wide, storm-hardening effort to prepare Lakeland Electric’s infrastructure for major storm events. Occasionally outages will happen that are beyond our control, and when they do, you’ll want to be prepared.

What can you do to make sure you’re ready? Download Lakeland Electric’s 2019 Hurricane Guide.

SEND CORRECTIONS, questions, feedback or news tips: newstips@lkldnow.com

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