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No major power problems in Clay Co. from cold temperatures

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Updated: 1/08 6:27 pm
ORANGE PARK, Fla. -- The cold weather was no match for electricity in Clay County. Only minor outages were reported during the peak of this extreme weather.

According to Clay Electric Cooperative, only a maximum of 27 homes were out at any one time.

It's a case of cold done right. Ronnie Rodriguez had been nervous heading to bed on Monday night that the polar vortex temperatures would leave him without heat.

"I was cutting wood for the last three days," said Rodriguez.

But after two full days of frigid temperatures, his heat is still cranking inside his home.

"We've has shortages out here before," Rodriguez said."I probably would have been sitting in front of the fire place all night long."

Fears stemmed from more than a decade ago when numerous severe weather situations knocked out power. Cold temperatures were the culprit in one instance, and according to Wayne Mattox with Clay Electric Cooperative, more than 100,000 outages were reported in 2004 after major hurricanes came through.

This time, Clay Electric was ready.

"In a case like this, where we didn't expect a lot of severe weather, we didn't need to do a lot of preparations compared to if we knew a hurricane was coming our way," Mattox said.

Mattox said they didn't come close to breaking the record for peak usage, which was 970 megawatts. Clay peaked at 770. He said that's because homeowners have become more conscious of their usage.

"They're conserving electricity and today's homes are more energy efficient than they were just a few years ago," he said.

Mattox said they constantly monitor their state of the art energy control center and they had extra crews on standby this time just in case.

Clay Electric serves 165,000 homes spanning 14 North Florida counties.
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