FALSE RUMORS: Electric companies won’t cut power to force evacuations

TAMPA (WFLA) – WKRG’s sister station, News Channel 8 has been getting a lot of questions about rumors that energy companies are going to cut service ahead of Hurricane Irma to get people to evacuate.

Duke Energy says that information is FALSE. They are trying dispel those rumors.

“Duke Energy is not de-energizing services in any area to expedite evacuations. On occasion, we may de-energize services at the request of emergency management officials. Please remember to adhere to your state and local emergency management for updates and information regarding evacuations,” a statement said.

TECO and Lakeland Eletric say they are battling the same rumors.

“Lakeland Electric will NOT turn the power off. Hurricane Irma may, but we will not! And, if Irma takes the power away, Lakeland Electric will get the power back on,” according to their statement.

Duke is projecting more than 1 million outages with restoration taking up to a week or longer.

They are mobilizing more than 7,000 lineworkers, tree professionals, damage assessment and support personnel to safe locations. Crews will be prepared to respond to outages once it is safe to do so.

Right now 1,400 Midwest line workers, contractors and related support personnel are on their way to Florida now to help in Hurricane #Irma restoration.

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