March 23, 2018

'We will not stop working': FPL vows to quickly restore Florida power

17 September 2017, 06:25 | Winston Chapman

Georgia Power crew working on power lines in Roswell in April. HYOSUB SHIN

Georgia Power crew working on power lines in Roswell in April. HYOSUB SHIN

About 7.3 million homes and businesses were without power in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and Alabama because of Hurricane Irma, according to state officials and utilities on Monday, Reuters reported.

Central Georgia Electric Membership Corp. said this morning 580 customers remained without power across its 14-county territory as the cleanup from Tropical Storm Irma continued. "There were almost a million customers out Monday night; half of our residential customers were without power, from one end of the state to another".

"We expect to have all West Coast customers essentially restored by end of day, September 22", FPL said in a statement.

"We know that the most important thing our customers want to know is when they'll get their lights back on", said Eric Silagy, president and CEO of FPL.

Any disaster that wipes out electrical service hits especially hard in the South, where tens of millions of Americans rely on the cocoon of comfort provided by air conditioning. Those are the main power lines that are feeding the neighborhood lines.

The Albany area manager for Georgia Power wasn't sure of the exact reason for the delay but said often times they have to call in tree crews to remove downed trees before the linemen can complete a job safely.

"We could make it for a week without too much trouble", he said.

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"Unfortunately, there has been false information spread that FPL will reimburse customers for food losses as a result of Hurricane Irma".

The U.S. Justice Department has received more than 400 fraud complaints involving relief aid after Hurricanes Harvey and Irma and expects a spike in fraud complaints in the coming months, department officials said on Thursday.

A message on Florida Power and Light's website said the following: "We're experiencing widespread outages and there is no need to report your outage at this time".

Those without power were welcome to visit town facilities for air-conditioning, wireless internet and to charge their mobile phones. Neither have the eight reported fatalities in the Florida Keys. Irma caused extensive damage across the state by knocking down trees that destroyed or damaged homes and knocked down power lines.

FPL had said on Friday it planned to shut both units at Turkey Point sometime on Saturday about 24 hours before hurricane force winds reached the plant.

In Miami-Dade County, where roads flooded and debris flew, and more than three-quarters of residents (830,000 out of 1.1 million) are without power as of Monday morning. "We're working on those cases that are most critical to those customers".

Irma prompted Deal to order evacuations for almost 540,000 people from the Georgia coast.

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