The Isles of Capri has struggled with electric outages and flickers for years. It got worse year by year. The citizens of Capri have complained loud and often. February 22nd at the Capri Community Center Capri people paced the building to get answers.
The agenda for the evening was an overview of the electric infrastructure and causes and outages for 2010 and 2011. Five representatives of FPL presented a power point program and explained, “We have a great plan in place, some things are already being done, and will definitely address any concerns you have.”
Charlotte Miller, External Affairs Manager introduced Bruce Jamison, Distribution Area Manager (Ft. Myers to Naples), who presented the power point program. He introduced his team Lynn Patterson, Engineering lead (Marco to Bonita Beach Rd.) Mike Cook, Delivery Assurance lead (liability issues) and Becky Daniels, Utility Arborist.
The problems are not just with the feeder lines on Collier Blvd. They are with transformers, insulators, trees, old poles. Each was addressed. The feeder interruptions knock out power to entire areas.
The feeder lines go through the environmentally sensitive mangroves. The poles are in a marsh area and some lean at a 45 degree angle. Because of the difficult accessibility it takes a long period of time to repair outages from this area. It involves cranes, shutting down roads, and poor timing of the event.
Moving the poles project is in the works and could happen in eight months.
The repairs take state and county approval to move the polesto a more stable location. The Capri residents were concerned that this would be after another hurricane season.
FPL trims trees around main lines every three years. If there is an issue they go back. Palms are trimmed every six months as they are faster growing.
On Capri FPL is being proactive. First, the trees are being trimmed. Some palm trees have been marked for removal. However they cannot be moved or cut down without owner approval.
Diana Dueri, Collier County Project Manager for the new Capri water system, asks that no removal be done until the old water pipes are replaced. The old pipes are fragile and could fracture with any earth movement.
FPL also does visual field inspections looking for rusted transformers and insulators that are damaged primarily due to lightening strikes. This has been done on Capri. The pole in front of our house (photos) is an example of visual inspection with a rusted transformer. Our electric had flickered with an outage every week for the past year.
Finally, they have used an infrared thermo vision camera that can detect hot spots so they send out repairs as needed. When it locates a hot spot, a potential failure point, they go out and make a repair so it does not cause a wide spread outage.
There were concerns that some people are still having flickers. Mike Cook encourages everyone to call every time there is an outage. For a major outage call 1-800-4-Outage. For a flicker call him at 468-8243. The more calls and information received the better they can locate the problem.