SARASOTA, Fla. — Power crews across the Tampa Bay area are working hard to replace wooden power poles with concrete poles ahead of the 2019 hurricane season.
“This helps us provide reliable coverage to customers during good times and bad,” said FPL spokesperson Bill Orlove.
Orlove said they are currently replacing eighty-six poles in north Sarasota County, with plans to replace more throughout the county. Duke Energy anticipates replacing nearly six-hundred poles by the end of the year. TECO is replacing 155 poles.
Power company representatives said these actions are part of hardening the grid and getting lights on faster after a storm.
"It’s a lot easier to replace a power line than it is to rebuild the infrastructure,” said Orlove.
The cement poles are designed to handle winds of up to a category four hurricane strength. FPL’s project will continue past this year’s hurricane season.
"By 2024 we will have either hardened or underground all of our main power lines,” said Orlove.
Hurricane Season begins June 1.