18,000 JEA Customers Still Without Power, Asking ‘What’s The Deal?’
Lyndy Durrence hasn’t had electricity since Hurricane Matthew Friday.
“My laundry's full now,” she said. “My dishwashers full now and I’ve been washing things in bleach.”
Durrence, one of roughly 18,000 still without power, has a generator and it’s helped keep food cool even without power. She has multiple refrigerators hooked up in an open garage. She’s keeping food for her son and brother’s family.
A tree took down a power line near her home during the hurricane. It’s still wrapped up in debris on the side of her road near Heckscher Drive.
Durrence said she’s been patient.
“But this is getting a little bit out of what I call convenient, normal,” she said.
She said she’s been calling JEA and emailing the mayor, but still no power.
JEA told customers power would be fully restored before midnight Monday.
“To add insult to injury, they’ve called us every day and told us our powers on,” Durrence said. “So I call them and I say nope, the power is not on.”
JEA CEO Paul McElroy said restoration has been slowed because so many trees went down.
“We’ve accepted all offers of assistance from utilities to come and help us restore power as quickly as we can,” he said.
He said more than 350 line workers and tree cutters from other utility companies are here helping, including crews from Oklahoma and Texas.
Thirty more workers from Duke Energy Florida are supposed to join the restoration process Thursday morning.
At the height of the storm, more than 200,000 JEA’s customers were without power. McElroy said the preliminary damage assessment is around $30 million, he wouldn’t be surprised if that number rises in the next several days.
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Lindsey Kilbride can be reached at email@example.com, 904-358-6359 or on Twitter at @lindskilbride.