DESTIN — Much of the city lost power for a short time Saturday morning when a thunderstorm passed through the area.
The Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office reported the outage at about 8:30 a.m. The east side of Destin was the most affected, and multiple traffic signals went down.
“A really bad lightning storm passed by and affected several of our substations,” said Jeff Rogers, external communications and brand manger for Gulf Power.
Rogers said it took about 10 minutes to restore power because of smart grid improvements. When the lightning affected the substations, the smart grid detected it and automatically removed power throughout the city, he said.
”With the combinations of human expertise and the smart grid, customers were without power for a few minutes and not hours,” Rogers said.
Rogers said Saturday afternoon he did not know how many customers were left in the dark.
Sheriff's deputies were busy during the short blackout.
“We assisted in several of the condos (in Destin) where there were reports of people being stuck in elevators,” Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Michele Nicholson said.
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection also reported that the power outage caused about 5,000 gallons of treated effluent at the Destin Water Users wastewater treatment plant to overflow into channels on the property.
No effluent escaped to any bodies of water or storm drains. The overflow was stopped, power was restored and the area was limed, the DEP said.