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VMs Hear TECO Explain Power Outages

The February Westchase Voting Members meeting began with a presentation by TECO’s Alan Denham.

Denham’s task was to explain the power outages that occurred in Westchase after Hurricane Irma and why the west part of Westchase continues to suffer repeated outages.

After a hurricane, Denham explained, TECO’s goal is to restore power to as many people as possible, starting with hospitals and those on life support. He stated the main issue with restoration of the west part of Westchase was its inaccessibility due to flooding and standing water. The impacted area is a one-mile easement between Westchase and Twin Branch Acres. TECO eventually had to get access to special machinery to get into the flooded area. VM Alan Shabott (Abbotsford) asked, “Have you done anything to reconfigure or add redundancy to be able to service it better?”

Denham replied that nothing was reconfigured. He added that they noted tree limbs were touching lines in the area. “We identified on that circuit that tree trimming was needed so we’ve already done some of this.”

VM Brian Loudermilk (Keswick Forest), whose village was without power for five days asked what the results of the study that was done on the outages found. Loudermilk had hoped that his village could be switched to the Westchase circuit rather than the one shared with Twin Branch Acres, which has all overhead lines. Denham replied that they would temporarily hook the neighborhood up during longer outages. “But,” he added, “a permanent switch won’t be likely. The Westchase circuit is overloaded without as much capacity.”

Keswick Forest Alternate Leslie McCluskie asked, “Should neighbors call every time there is an outage?”

Denham replied that there is a way to text outages but said that for a prolonged outage, residents should definitely call. They should not report momentary, small outages where switching is occurring to keep power on. Denham closed the discussion saying that they are continuing to analyze data and looking at hot spots.

Following TECO's presentation, VMs held their final vote for Woodbay’s Rain Chains neighborhood guideline amendment and it was quickly approved.

Government Affairs Committee (GAC) member Joe Odda updated VMs on road resurfacing. He said he had driven through Radcliffe and all of it looks to have been milled. He thinks they will be close to done by the end of next week and move on from there.

GAC Chair Rick Goldstein reported that he had continued to complain to the county about the length of time to finish the work on the reclaimed water line replacement on Linebaugh. He said that the contractor is also tired of hearing the complaints and they are anxious to finish the work. Goldstein stated they are hoping to finish by the end of February. Collazo said that the good news was that the reclaimed water was back on.

The meeting was adjourned at 7:40 p.m.

By Brenda Bennett

Posted Feb. 15, 2018

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