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Power restored to 2.8 million Florida homes, businesses since Monday

14 Septembre 2017

At Duke Energy, more than 9,000 workers are mobilized to respond to power outages and assess storm damage.

At Gulf Power, a Southern Co. unit that serves just over 455,000 in northwest Florida, spokesman Rick DelaHaya said Monday that the brunt of Irma was just starting to arrive in that region.

Workers left last Thursday and arrived in Florida on Saturday.

Hurricane Irma's march across Florida and into the Southeast triggered one of the bigger blackouts in US history, plunging as many as 13 million people into the dark as the storm dragged down power lines and blew out transformers.

"We have the largest restoration workforce in USA history responding to the worst storm in our company's history", Eric Silagy, president and CEO of FPL, said. "It is by far and away the largest in the history of our company".

The faster restoration time was due to $3 billion FPL spent on improvements including underground lines, concrete poles and intelligent devices to help restore power, Gould said.

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"Earlier today, the ESCC leadership held a call with senior executives from EEI's member companies and from across our industry to discuss additional lineworker and vegetation management crews that will be needed to restore power as assessments are completed in some of the hardest hit areas of Florida", said Kuhn.

FPL said it estimates that east coast customers will have power by the end of the weekend, except in areas hit by tornadoes, flooding and severe damage. "This one is going to take a lot longer".

Ana Gibbs, a spokeswoman with Duke Energy Corp., the state's second-largest investor-owned utility, said the company had been given the all clear to start work in the Tampa and Orlando areas.

As of Monday evening, roughly 1.2 million Duke customers were still affected by outages. FPL also closed the two reactors at Turkey Point, shutting one unit on Saturday as Irma approached. The utility had estimated that up to 500,000 of its customers might lose power.

It was too soon to say what the power restoration would cost FPL, but in 2016, the company said it spent about $315 million to restore power after Hurricanes Hermine and Matthew, according to NextEra's federal filings.