Live updates: Tallahassee power outages drop below 5K; weekend severe weather possible (2024)

Five days after three tornadoes and 100-mph straight-line winds brought destruction across Leon County, there's an actual light at the end of the tunnel.

The city of Tallahassee has restored power to 96% of its customers after a historic effort where the city pulled in reinforcements from around the Southeast to quintuple their workforce.

Repairs to the electric grid were hampered earlier in the week by another round of storms. Forecasters say another storm system could bring severe weather and heavy rain to the Panhandle and Big Bend starting Friday.

Here's the latest:

Want to map out how close you were to the tornado's destructive path?

Want to see how close your home of business was to the direct path of the tornadoes that sliced through Tallahassee with destructive winds?

Live updates: Tallahassee power outages drop below 5K; weekend severe weather possible (2)

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has you covered with their map overlay of the storm's track.

Click on and type in your address to get started. Make sure the date range includes May 10, the day the tornadoes struck Florida's capital city.

What's the line of responsibility for repairs and to get power back to a damaged home?

As city crews begin to power up areas in ground zero of the tornado outbreak, they expect to find a record number of homes whose electrical infrastructure has been damaged.

A city utilities director told the Democrat Tuesday they have a running tally of such customers and it's already hit 170. And that's well before they gauge the situation at individual homes in the hardest hit-areas.

If there is damage to a customer's meter or weather head, the junction where power wires enter the home, the customer will need to hire a licensed electrician to make repairs. Then an inspection would be scheduled, followed by restoration.

The city released details on the line of responsibility and a video explainer below.

Step 1 | Understanding Responsibility

  • Homeowners are responsible for electrical equipment attached to the house, such as the meter box and weather head. If any equipment is damaged, please contact a licensed electrician. The City is not authorized to repair any privately owned equipment.
  • City of Tallahassee Utilities are responsible for wire to the pole, service lines to the house, and other facilities that deliver electricity to your house, as well as meters that measure electricity use.

Step 2 | Schedule Repairs

  • In the event customer-owned equipment is damaged or pulled loose from the house, the homeowner is responsible for working with a licensed electrician to schedule repairs.
  • Your licensed electrician will need to pull a permit withGrowth Management.
  • Do not hire an unlicensed electrician or attempt to fix damage yourself.

Step 3 | Inspections & Restorations

  • Once the electrician's service is complete and you pass all inspections as required, contact City of Tallahassee Growth Management at 850-891-1800. The City will work with you to restore power once all repairs are completed to code.

City of Tallahassee outages briefly drop below 5K customers for first time since tornado outbreak

The number of city customers without power dropped Wednesday morning to 4,827, nearly half the number without power Tuesday night, according to the Florida Public Service Commission.

Only 4% of customers remain in the dark. Residents in several hard-hit areas, including parts of Indianhead Acres, reported that they were back online.

Mike Crow, the city's assistant general manager for power delivery, told the Democrat on Tuesday that restoration efforts had slowed a bit as repair crews made their way into the most heavily hit parts of town.

For those without power glued to the city's outage map, Crow also noted that sometimes technicians need to de-energize a line in one place so they can safely make repairs and bring even more customers back to the grid. That may explain why a couple hours after dipping below 5,000 the city was back up to 6,666 customers without power by noon on Wednesday.

City officials say repair work "will last through Friday in the most impacted areas, followed by work on individual and isolated outages to buildings that were damaged."

There's also only so much a power crew can do when it comes to homes and businesses with structural damage to their electrical meters or weather head, the junction where electrical wires enter a home.

Crow warned that there will be a record-breaking number of homes that will need an electrician and repairs before they can be reconnected to the grid. He said they have a running tally of such customers and it's already hit 170.

"I have personally witnessed tons of structural damage on their end that will have to be fixed before they can receive power," he said.

And once those repairs are completed it will require an inspection by city staffers before they can be re-energized by linemen.

More heavy rain, severe weather possible this weekend

A storm system is expected to move across North Florida on Friday and Saturday, bringing the possibility of heavy rain and severe weather.

Live updates: Tallahassee power outages drop below 5K; weekend severe weather possible (4)

There's a marginal risk (1 out of 5) for severe weather just west of Tallahassee, including Franklin and Calhoun counties. Rainfall totals for the area are forecast at 1-3 inches, with isolated higher amounts, according to the National Weather Service in Tallahassee.

"The timing is subject to change as we are still several days out, but the best timing for these storms will be from Friday afternoon through the overnight hours into Saturday," NWS said. "Saturday's severe weather potential will be dependent on how Friday pans out."

Contact Jeff Burlew at or 850-599-2180.


Live updates: Tallahassee power outages drop below 5K; weekend severe weather possible (2024)
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