Water Distribution techs repair a water main break in the Thornton Park area.
OUC crews quickly restored power and repaired water main breaks in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Nicole.
Downgraded from a Category 1 system to a tropical storm as it moved inland on Nov. 10, Nicole delivered a glancing blow to OUC’s service territory, leaving just over 28,000 customers without power and causing four water main breaks.
On the day Nicole passed by Central Florida, OUC powerline crews had substantially restored electricity to impacted customers by midnight. All but a few of the remaining outages were resolved the following afternoon. Some customers’ homes had incurred storm damage that prevented OUC from reconnecting their electric service.
Meanwhile, OUC Water Distribution crews repaired three water main breaks on Nov. 10 and another one on Nov. 11. Three of the breaks occurred in the Thornton Park area and the other in the Sky Lake neighborhood in south Orange County. All were attributed to Nicole’s strong, hourslong gusts battering trees whose roots had become entangled around water mains. As the trees swayed in the wind, their roots pulled on the water pipes, eventually causing them to crack.
Water technicians were able to repair three of the breaks without having to temporarily disrupt water service to residents.
OUC’s Nicole recovery was aided by teams from Human Resources, Customer Service, Facilities, Fleet, Legal and Communications. OUC also partnered with Orange County and City of Orlando Emergency Operations Centers on outreach efforts that kept the public informed of storm damage and power restoration.
Nicole, a rare November hurricane, came ashore near Vero Beach six weeks after Hurricane Ian pummeled Southwest Florida with Category 4 winds, torrential downpours and a tsunami-like storm surge. As Ian passed south of Central Florida, it knocked out power to 97,560 OUC customers and flooded streets and neighborhoods. By Oct. 3, all affected customers who could receive power had their lights back on.