Update, Sept. 18, 12 p.m.: After assessments completed late Sept. 17, Gulf Power estimates Santa Rosa County power will be restored to at least 95% of customers by midnight Sept. 22.
According to the Gulf Power Outage Map, crews are working 24/7 to repair the system, and approximately 48,900 customers in Santa Rosa have already had power restored.
There were about 25,300 still without power midday Friday. Escambia County showed about 99,800 customers still without electricity.
Gulf Power Media Relations Kimberly Blair advised customers still without power to flip all light switches and devices to the off position for when power is restored. If a customers neighbor has already had power restored, but they do not, she recommended checking that the issue was not on the customers side of the meter.
Sometimes it is as simple as flipping a breaker, Blair said.
Original, Sept. 17, 2 p.m.: Area hospitals and many essential infrastructure facilities had the lights back on Thursday after Hurricane Sally knocked out electricity for large swathes of northwest Florida. Counties from Okaloosa to Jackson are also fully restored or will be within 24 hours according to Gulf Power officials.
But company president Marlene Santos said it is still unclear when residential customers of Santa Rosa County will all be back on. She said 103,000 customers’ power has been restored, but they still have 185,000 customers left to go. According to the online Gulf Power Outage Map, more than 34,000 of those customers are in Santa Rosa County.
Drones, helicopters and ground crews are being utilized to assess the system damage to allow for repairs, and Santos said that evaluation is expected to be complete for Santa Rosa and Escambia later tonight.
Gulf Power Media Relations Kimberly Blair said crews were working through the night Sept. 16 in Navarre to restore power to portions of the beach.
“But those crews were pulled off for critical infrastructure,” this morning, Blair said.
Crews made their way back to Navarre this afternoon, but impacts from the storm are slowing the process.
“Flooding and when you are looking at a place like Navarre Beach and the low-lying areas, that is a big issue, plus, downed trees and that accessibility to those areas,” Blair said.
In the interim, officials are asking that residents stay off the roads as much as possible as traffic is slowing restoration teams.
An update will be made once new information on the restoration timeline becomes available.