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HURRICANE WILMA-RELATED DAMAGE LINGERS TWO YEARS LATER

12/18/2007 ~ Over two years after Hurricane Wilma devastated Key West and the Lower Florida Keys, some Keys Energy Services (KEYS) customers may just now be noticing potentially dangerous damage to their home electrical circuits.

Electrical code revisions in recent years made it mandatory to site a main disconnect breaker switch on the outside of new or remodeled residences and businesses. These exterior-mounted breakers allow firefighters to shut power off to homes from the outside in the event of a fire.

Such breakers are mounted beneath meter centers, approximately four to five feet from the ground, and may have been susceptible to Hurricane Wilma-related flooding. The severe flooding that occurred may cause these breakers to corrode over time and jeopardize their electrical integrity, which could result in severe burns when the breakers are used.

KEYS urges all customers whose homes or businesses were damaged by rising water to err on the side of caution and work with a certified electrical contractor to do a visual inspection of electrical circuits and check the grounding connections to guard against such potential hazards.

“While most of our customers worked with private electrical contractors in the aftermath of Hurricane Wilma,” said Lynne Tejeda, KEYS General Manager & CEO, “we want to ensure all are aware of the potential hazards the rising water may have created and that they take the necessary steps to prevent them.”

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