FPL communications 'overwhelmed' with outage reports, customer inquiries

Leslie Hanson
September 18, 2017

Though Irma's center merely crossed the Georgia's southeast corner after churning northward from Florida, tropical storm-force winds spread more than 400 miles (644 kilometers) across and touched almost the entire state. "This has been a monumental effort that has begun". As a result, customers should be prepared for the possibility of extended power outages.

As of 2 p.m. Tuesday, 241,490 homes and businesses in Sarasota, Manatee and Charlotte counties were still in the dark, while power has been restored to 224,160. In the three-county region, power has returned to about 73,000 customers in the past 24 hours, according to FPL's data.

Many residents are asking, waiting and wondering when exactly your power will come back on. In Immokalee, Everglades City and Lehigh Acres, none of its customers had electricity. For these efforts, Gulf Power was awarded the Edison Electric Institute Assistance Award or its extraordinary work assisting in power restoration efforts in a neighboring or nearby electric company.

FPL posted on Twitter that residents on the west coast of Florida can expect power restoration by September 22 - 11 days after the storm hit Sarasota, though areas hit with tornadoes, flooding or extreme damage could take longer. Many of those were homes and businesses that will have to undergo repairs before they are ready to receive electricity again. "The one thing we are seeing throughout is lots of debris, lots of trees down".

"We are out there 24/7", Gould said. At the same time, they're working to restore power to supermarkets and pharmacies.

On Monday, Silargy said crews had already restored power to 1 million customers throughout the state, but some customers are being hit with multiple outages.

In Bradford County, where record flooding from Hurricane Irma was seen, around 73 percent of Clay Electric and FPL customers remain affected by outages, a majority of which are around the City of Starke. At this point after Hurricane Wilma in 2005, only 13 percent of the company's customer accounts had been restored.

But Gould said those outage numbers will soon start to shrink. "We are definitely not seeing poles down like we anticipated".

Macron's office said he stayed overnight on St. Martin on Tuesday and is going to St. Barts on Wednesday with the French health minister, who has warned about diseases spreading on the islands after water supplies, electricity and communication were knocked out for days.

"What we do first is we get our generation facilities back online", he said. "We have certainly enough power to provide to our customers".

FPL leaders continue to say they are "racing to get the lights back on".

The storm also caused destruction when it swept across Georgia and SC on Monday. "We will be working as hard as we can to get power restored to as many members as safely and quickly as possible". That said, we anticipate that much of the electric system in Southwest Florida will require a complete rebuild, which could take weeks. FPL prioritizes returning power to those critical facilities.

Trump has spoken regularly to Florida Governor Rick Scott and U.S. Senator Marco Rubio, both Republicans, and spoke on Sunday with U.S. Senator Ben Nelson, a Democrat, the White House said.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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