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Kriseman: Duke Energy ‘irresponsible’ in Irma response

  • Mayor Rick Kriseman has criticized Duke Energy for its “self-imposed” deadlines to restore power to residents affected by Hurricane Irma.
  • At 9 p.m. Friday, 59,808 Pinellas County Duke Energy customers were still without power.
  • “I am extremely disappointed that Duke Energy’s self-imposed midnight deadline will pass without power being restored to all of St. Pete,” he wrote.
  • “The information provided to me by Duke Energy’s CEO and other executives throughout the week gave me the confidence to be patient, and as such, I had encouraged the same from our residents.”
  • Kriseman said it was “irresponsible for Duke Energy to give residents “false hope.”

Mayor Rick Kriseman has criticized Duke Energy for its

@BN9: Mayor says Duke Energy gave “false hope” to residents without power

ST. PETERSBURG — 

Mayor Rick Kriseman has criticized Duke Energy for its “self-imposed” deadlines to restore power to residents affected by Hurricane Irma.

At 9 p.m. Friday, 59,808 Pinellas County Duke Energy customers were still without power.

Meanwhile, the company said Friday it will stop late payment fees and no longer send estimated bills.

Kriseman made his comments on Facebook, and while he saluted workers in the field, he was not as kind to company leaders.

“I am extremely disappointed that Duke Energy’s self-imposed midnight deadline will pass without power being restored to all of St. Pete,” he wrote. “The information provided to me by Duke Energy’s CEO and other executives throughout the week gave me the confidence to be patient, and as such, I had encouraged the same from our residents.”

Kriseman said it was “irresponsible for Duke Energy to give residents “false hope.”

“While walking neighborhoods this week I saw up close the impact that a loss of electricity has on our community and especially our most vulnerable residents,” Kriseman said. “It is a serious issue. It can sometimes be a life or death issue. And that’s why I have already requested a meeting with Duke Energy officials to ensure St. Petersburg is better served moving forward.”

Kriseman also said the Childs Park, Fossil Park, and J.W. Cate recreation centers will be open Saturday from 10 a.m. through 10 for residents who need relief.

About 4,000 Duke customers received very high bills that were determined to be estimates. The company said it’s because workers haven’t been able to get out and read meters but that customers shouldn’t worry.

“What we started hearing (Friday) is that these estimates are higher than what people normally see in their bills,” said spokeswoman Paige Layne. “So we are going to stop sending those out. Anyone who receives the estimated bills should ignore it.”

Kriseman: Duke Energy ‘irresponsible’ in Irma response

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