Lights still out for 6.1 million United States customers after Irma-utilities


Florida Power and Light Company (FPL) denied that it will reimburse Florida residents for food spoiled as result of power outages caused by Hurricane Irma.

"We have an army on it, working day and night to get the lights back on after this truly unprecedented storm", he said. "I also want to personally thank our sister operating companies, as well as all utility, public safety and governmental partners who worked together over the past weeks to prepare for and recover from Hurricane Irma". Some air service was scheduled to resume to Miami and other Florida airports, but hundreds of flights remained canceled in Atlanta, a key hub in the country's air travel system. By Wednesday afternoon, state emergency management officials estimate that one third - or 6.4 million - residents remained without power in the Sunshine state.

The out-of-state teams are able to sleep, eat and shower and do their laundry in trailers supplied by a vendor at 20 large staging areas, including the South Florida Fairgrounds in Palm Beach County. Never pull tree limbs off power lines yourself or enter areas with debris, downed trees or standing water as downed power lines may be buried in wreckage.

After one day of restoration, FPL has restored 40 percent of the more than 5 million outages, as compared to just 4 percent in the same time period during the company's Hurricane Wilma restoration effort in 2005. The company will regularly update the Outage Map and other customer notification resources during the remainder of the Hurricane Irma restoration process with any changes in these ERTs.

Gould said that for the utility, which powers about half of the state, customers on Florida's east coast should have power back by the end of the weekend.

Those without power were welcome to visit town facilities for air-conditioning, wireless internet and to charge their mobile phones. "Initial assessments suggest that hardened FPL feeders, which are our main power lines, performed 30 percent better during Irma than non-hardened feeders".

The deaths at the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills, now under police and state investigation, stirred outrage over what many saw as a preventable tragedy and heightened concerns about the vulnerability of the state's large elderly population amid widespread, lingering power outages.

"It's supposed to get really bad here in the next couple of hours, and after that we'll make a decision of where we need to get on the road", he said.

As of 5 a.m. Thursday, Georgia Power reported almost 165,000 of its customers were still affected.

FPL said its two nuclear plants in Florida were safe. Additional weakening is forecast, and Irma is expected to become a tropical storm over far northern Florida or southern Georgia on Monday.