BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) — Winter storms have affected much of the South. The brunt of the impacts have been felt in Texas, where the freezing temperatures and snowfall have caused deadly rolling blackouts.
The Panhandle has also felt some of the cold over the past week. But officials say that our power grids are prepared.
Gulf Power spokesperson Gordon Paulus says the energy company has plans in place for all worst case scenarios.
“We had pandemic plans we had to use this past year,” Paulus said. “We plan year-round for weather events and obviously here in Florida it relies mainly around hurricanes and things like that.”
He added the biggest issue during severe weather isn’t whether our power grid can handle it, but the destruction, such as with the ice storm in 2014. News 13 referred it to as the ‘Polar Panhandle.’
“One of the biggest issues there was that the ice formed on the trees and the limbs and they broke off onto our distribution lines,” Paulus said.
Power isn’t the only concern during cold weather.
“Monday, we had crews out in Escambia, Santa Rosa and Okaloosa counties. They were using sprayers to put a chemical out there on the bridge to make sure that we didn’t have ice forming out there on the bridge,” said Ian Satter, FDOT spokesperson “We also have snow plows if that ever happens in this region as well.”