LETTER TO THE EDITOR: If you want a better island power grid, you’d better start making some calls

March 7, 2021
By Marcy Shortuse

Hello friends and neighbors,
Sorry for the intrusion, but something very interesting happened to me recently, and I learned facts that will benefit all of us here on the island. I am writing to relate this information to you as we are able to stop the problem. All it takes is a phone call.
You know how we experience power surges, frequently enough that we begin to think that they are “natural,” “inevitable” and that “nothing can be done” about them. In the meantime, our computers could be damaged, our generators could catch on fire, our landscape lights go crazy and our microwaves and coffeemaker clocks need continuous resetting.
Obviously it’s bothersome and can be costly and dangerous. This past week, for four days in a row, we’ve experienced this – twice one day and on Saturday in the middle of the day (and my computer went black, then thankfully clicked back on). Today, I called Florida Power & Light and related to a robot the problem (even though I wasn’t having the issue at that moment). It checked for problems, and sure enough, told me that it was an issue and that they would send someone out. The rep from FPL appeared and, to my great surprise, said that there were issues like this all over the island, and every time one of us calls we are put higher on “the list” to repair and correct it.
He also said he was called to a house down toward town and checked their lines, and determined that, indeed, that incident was also not isolated (like mine wasn’t), and they can tell that by simply looking at their technology, then looking at the meters. It was neighborhood-wide.
So, please, each time you experience this surge, call Florida Power & Light at (941) 639-1106. Write this number on a Post-it note and affix it to your phone. These surges are becoming more frequent and it takes replacement of the wires at the poles on Gasparilla Road, away from your house.
I called the Boca Beacon, and they are putting something about this in the paper, but it was strongly suggested that I send this to my email list to really let it be known. So please, help by calling. Spread the word to people you talk to … it’s the only way it’ll get fixed in a timely way (according to the rep).
All the Best,
Cookie Potter
Boca Grande
Note from the Editor: We are working on this story, and will let you know what we find out.