Thousands without power 3 days after worst tornado strike in Leon County. What to know (2024)

C. A. BridgesUSA TODAY NETWORK - Florida

Three days after a line of thunderstorms and three tornadoes rampaged across Tallahassee, leaving a swath of destruction, one person dead, and more than half the county without power, thousands remain without electricity.

The city of Tallahassee announced shortly after 9 p.m. Sunday that it had restored power to 91% of its customers. On Monday morning, the state of Florida showed that of the cities 126,309 accounts, 9,574, or 8%, were still without power. As of 3:45 p.m. the City of Tallahassee outage map showed 615 customers still without power in the capital city.

Efforts to restore power have been massive and nonstop, the city said Saturday afternoon.

"Extensive damage caused by the tornadoes has increased, with the broken utility pole count now at 399 confirmed, which exceeds Hurricanes Hermine, Irma and Michael combined." That number is expected to exceed 500 when all is said and done. The city also said it has identified more than 150 damaged transformers.

"We're going into day three," said Mike Crow, the City of Tallahassee's assistant general manager for power delivery. "I get it. I understand the point of frustration for some, but I want you to see we're actively working and also see just the number of resources that we have."

Are more storms coming to Tallahassee Monday?

Thousands without power 3 days after worst tornado strike in Leon County. What to know (3)

Thousands without power 3 days after worst tornado strike in Leon County. What to know (4)

See storm damage to Tallahassee's Railroad Square in drone video

See storm damage to Tallahassee's Railroad Square from above in raw drone footage

Provided to the Democrat

Meanwhile, residents are bracing for multiple rounds of storms expected to hit the area today, bringing two to five inches of rain with higher amounts possible in some areas. A flood watch is in effect for much of North Florida through Tuesday evening.

Beginning Monday, May 13, at 9 a.m., sandbags will be available to the public at the following city of Tallahassee and Leon County locations:

  • Leon County's Northeast Branch Library, 5513 Thomasville Road
  • Apalachee Regional Park (Solid Waste Management Facility), 7550 Apalachee Parkway
  • Fred George Park, 3043 Capital Circle NW
  • At the intersection of Oak Ridge Road at Ranchero Road
  • Ft. Braden Community Park,15000 Blountstown Highway
  • City to open 2 sandbag locations tomorrow, 5/13, starting at 9am.
  • Jack McLean Park (700 Paul Russell Road)
  • Tom Brown Park (501 Easterwood Drive)

Limit 25 bags per household. Bring your own shovel.

Power outage map: Track power outages in your area here

Leon County, Florida power outage map

If your power is still out

The city is restoring power as fast as it can, in some cases rebuilding the infrastructure from the ground up. Some locations must repair damage on their end before power can be received there.

If your power is still out, you can call the city'scustomer ops center at 850-891-4968 or 711 (TDD).

Staying cool without power in Florida

Thousands without power 3 days after worst tornado strike in Leon County. What to know (5)

Thousands without power 3 days after worst tornado strike in Leon County. What to know (6)

Florida temps are rising, here are 10 tips to stay cool

Temperatures in Florida have been getting hotter, with days in the 90s a common sight. Here's how to stay cool.

C. A. Bridges, Palm Beach Post

Power outages are annoying and inconvenient in the best of times, but Florida is experiencing hot and sunny May days with temps in Tallahassee expected to get near 84 degrees Monday. If your power is still out, you need to take care of yourself.

Comfort stations where you can cool off, charge your devices or grab a snack are available at these community centers, open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.:

  • Lawrence-Gregory Community Center, 2301 Pasco St.
  • Walker-Ford Community Center, 2301 Pasco St

The most important thing is to keep yourself cool. The signs of heat stroke aren't as obvious as other dangers, which is one reason some studies have said approximately 1,300 Americans die every year from extreme heat.

  • Drink lots of water. Staying hydrated keeps you cooler and helps your body work more efficiently.
  • Rinse off. If you have running water, take a shower or go somewhere you can. Even dumping a bottle of water over your head can help bring your temps down. If you have a pool (or a friend with a pool), hit the water. Don't take a cold shower, though, that can work against you here by forcing your body to work harder.
  • Mist yourself. Water-misting spray bottles just might keep you sane.
  • Dip your bandana. Soak a towel or bandana in water and wrap it around your head or body.
  • Strip. Wear loose clothing in breathable fabric. Stick with light-colored cloth. Avoid tight clothing or jeans.
  • Fill a cooler with ice. Put wet towels in there and then put them on your skin.
  • Load up on battery-powered fans. Moving air helps, even if it's warm air. Take some ice from your cooler and put a bowl of it in front of the fan to cool off even more.
  • Sleep in the least-hot room in the house. If your bedroom is on a 2nd floor or higher, where all that heat is accumulating, this is a good time to crash on the couch. Try to use light-colored sheets and blankets.
  • Hang wet cloth over windows. If your windows are open and there's any breeze coming through, hang some wet, thin cloth from your curtain rod to cool the air a bit as it comes in.
  • Consider sleeping outdoors. It might not make that much difference here in Florida where it stays humid all night, but if there's a breeze you might feel cooler outside the house, especially if there's shade. Sleep on the porch, or camp out in the backyard.
  • Keep your pets cool, too. Your dog and cat are just as hot as you are and they have fur. Keep them hydrated and take steps to keep them cooled down.
  • Get out. There are places much cooler than your house, and the middle of the day is a great time to go. See a movie, go to the library, run some errands, go to a shady park, spend time in air-conditioned stores, go to a public swimming pool, jump in the ocean, and go anywhere with cool air.

After the power comes back on

Finally! But to stay safe, do these things:

  • Wait a few minutes before you turn any major appliances back on.
  • Throw away any food exposed to temperatures 40 degrees or higher for two hours or more, or that has an unusual odor, color or texture.
  • Dispose of any medication that needs refrigeration, unless the label says otherwise. Check with your healthcare professional or pharmacy to replace it.

Douglas Soule, Tallahassee Democrat, contributed to this article.

Thousands without power 3 days after worst tornado strike in Leon County. What to know (2024)
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