LCEC – Lee County Electric Cooperative

Hurricane Updates

Hurricane Updates

Hurricane Irma was one of the most destructive storms in the recent history of Southwest Florida. In the most-impacted areas of the LCEC service territory, the electric system was rebuilt, not just repaired. It takes time to safely and efficiently complete such a task. Crews worked tirelessly, in adverse conditions, to restore power and we know that each day without electricity is a challenge.

From everyone at LCEC, we thank our customers for their patience and support. We also thank the out-of-state crews, vendors, suppliers, first responders, disaster relief organizations, and media from across the nation who joined the LCEC team to restore power as quickly as possible. Together, we weathered the storm.

Debris pickup
As power restoration is completed after Hurricane Irma, the task of cleaning up utility debris and follow-up begins. An LCEC team, supported by debris-removal vendors, will span the electric system to gather and dispose of utility materials such as poles, wire, transformers, and insulators that may have been left behind during restoration. The impact of Hurricane Irma was fierce and covered a vast area, so cleanup will take several months to complete. There is no need for you to contact us to request pickup at this time. LCEC will not be picking up vegetation debris. Local government agencies are working hard to focus on this vegetation and other storm debris removal.

If LCEC damaged your property, please notify us and we will process your claim appropriately. Again, the time frame has not been determined, and we ask your patience.

We thank our customers for their support and patience while we transition to business-as-usual operations.

For non-LCEC-related debris:

Lee County has provided the following information regarding storm debris pickup in Lee County:

  • Storm debris includes trees, branches, shrubs, and other vegetation that was downed during Hurricane Irma. Lee County has hired debris-removal contractors to handle storm debris.
  • Hurricane Irma impacted a broad area of the county and its duration was longer than past storms. The inland track rather than along the coast created challenging circumstances for post-storm debris removal, and Lee County Government has worked toward solutions to ensure debris will be collected from all neighborhoods as soon as possible.
  • More information can be found at:

Collier County information can be found at:

Federal help for damaged roofs
Operation Blue Roof is a federal program that provides FREE temporary roof protection to homeowners in disaster areas. Visit or call 888-ROOF-BLU (888-766-3258). Be sure to use this phone number or website, as there are others who are charging for this service.

How does LCEC restore power after a storm?

  • After a storm has passed, LCEC quickly begins to assess the damage to the electric system.
  • LCEC then begins restoring power to essential services such as hospitals, traffic signals, shelters, communication centers and law enforcement.
  • Next, power is restored to the greatest number of customers in the least amount of time by repairing main circuits. Then feeders will be repaired to power up neighborhoods.
  • Finally, individual services or services and services that need to be reconnected after repair to the customer’s damaged electrical system are restored.

What if my neighbor has power but I don’t?

  • You may be on a different feeder line, or a different transformer may serve your location.
  • The transformer serving your location may be damaged. These are the last system devices to be repaired because resources are focused on restoring the greatest number of customers first.
  • Your weatherhead conduit (the pipe and wire extending above your roof) may be damaged or bent. If so, you must have an electrician repair it and have an inspection before power can be restored.
  • If you own your own underground service, it may be damaged, which is usually caused by tree roots. If so, you must have it repaired by an electrician and inspected before power can be restored.

Don’t connect your generator directly to your home’s wiring at the breaker panel or meter. Connecting a portable electric generator directly to your household wiring can be deadly to you and others. A generator that is directly connected to your home’s wiring can ‘back feed’ onto the power lines connected to your home. Utility transformers can then “step-up” or increase this back feed to thousands of volts—enough to kill a utility lineman making outage repairs a long way from your house. You could also cause expensive damage to utility equipment and your generator.

The only safe way to connect a portable electric generator to your existing wiring is to have a licensed electrical contractor install a transfer switch. The transfer switch transfers power from the utility power lines to the power coming from your generator.

Never plug a portable electric generator into a regular household outlet. Plugging a generator into a regular household outlet can energize “dead” power lines and injure neighbors or utility workers. Connect individual appliances that have their outdoor-rated power cords directly to the receptacle outlet of the generator, or connect these cord-connected appliances to the generator with the appropriate outdoor-rated power cord having a sufficient wire gauge to handle the electrical load.

Don’t overload the generator. Do not operate more appliances and equipment than the output rating of the generator. Overloading your generator can seriously damage your valuable appliances and electronics. Prioritize your needs. A portable electric generator should be used only when necessary, and only to power essential equipment.

Download Hurricane Guide.

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