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Longboat Key Monday, Aug. 24, 2015 5 years ago

Power problems remain on Longboat Key

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The island has experienced seven power outages and several other power flickers, or surges, since July 7.
by: Kurt Schultheis Senior Editor

Florida Power & Light Co. has confirmed Longboat Key has a power problem.

Since approximately 3,500 Longboaters lost their power —many for up to 10 hours the night of July 7 — the Key has experienced at least six other confirmed FPL outages and several other power flickering outages that aren’t documented by FPL. Power flickering, or surges, cause residents to come home to or wake up to blinking clocks in their kitchens and on their alarm clocks.

Longboat Key Assistant Town Manager confirmed the statistics from FPL Southwest Florida Area Manager Rae Dowling last week.

Dowling also confirmed some of the power outages are a result of some issues to main feeder lines that run under Sarasota Bay.

“Outages have been related to two main feeder cables supplying Longboat Key,” Ross wrote in an Aug. 21 email to commissioners.

The feeders originate at various points within the city of Sarasota and cross Sarasota Bay underwater.

Other power outages were a result of lightning strikes and equipment failures, either on the Key or on the mainland.

Ross said a meeting held with six FPL officials Aug. 19 confirmed the most problematic feeder crossing New Pass from City Island has been in design and is slated for an upgrade. Final permitting and easements are in process and FPL anticipates replacing this feeder during the first quarter of 2016, Ross wrote.

Ross said the town is now in close contact with FPL and will be keeping commissioners informed of future power problems and upgrades for underwater feeder lines. 

In November, the town’s electorate will vote on a $25.5 million project to bury power lines and other overhead utilities on Gulf of Mexico Drive. If voters approve it, a second referendum will follow in March for a $20.5 million project to bury utilities Key-wide — but only those property owners who don’t currently have underground utilities will cast a ballot. 

Contact Kurt Schultheis at [email protected].

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