JUNO BEACH, Fla., Oct. 7, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) today announced that as of 8 a.m., approximately 475,000 customers affected by Hurricane Matthew remain without electricity and the company expects more outages as Matthew remains a threat to more than 1 million customers throughout Central and North Florida.
"While we are fortunate that Matthew has yet to make landfall in Florida, we still have a deadly category 3 hurricane a few miles offshore, and at this point in the restoration process, it would appear the investments we've made during the past decade to make the electric grid stronger and smarter are making a difference for our customers," said Eric Silagy, president and chief executive officer of FPL. "Based on our grid's performance thus far, we are seeing fewer outages and faster restoration times.
"That said we still have more than 1 million of our customers in harm's way," said Silagy. "As we continue to make progress in South Florida, we will be collapsing our resources into the central and northern parts of our service area, aggressively attacking outages when and where it is safe to do so. We sincerely appreciate our customers' patience and urge their continued safety, particularly around downed power lines. We have thousands of workers in the field and ready to work around the clock until every one of our customers has their power back on."
FPL crews worked through the night, helped by in- and out-of-state workers from other utilities and electrical contractors. They restored service to more than 230,000 customers in between bands of severe weather when it was safe to do so and they'll continue to work around the clock to restore customers' power safely and quickly.
FPL expects to restore power to all customers in Miami-Dade and Broward counties and to the majority of customers in Palm Beach County by end of day Friday, Oct. 7, with all customers in Palm Beach County restored by Saturday, Oct. 8.
Within a few hours after the storm clears Central and North Florida, FPL will communicate estimates of when customers in that region will have their power restored.
FPL continues to remind its customers of the need to be cautious before, during and after any storm. Stay away from flooded areas and debris, and stay alert to and away from downed power lines, which could be energized and dangerous. Importantly, treat highway intersections as four-way stops where stop lights are out of service due to a loss of power.
Immediately after a storm, FPL knows if main power lines have been damaged. If customers believe their power is out for this reason, there is no need to contact FPL. Customers should call 911 or 1-800-4-OUTAGE (1-800-468-8243) only to report dangerous situations such as downed power lines or sparking electrical equipment. Customers can report an outage at FPL.com.
Please stay safe
Even when winds have subsided, conditions can be dangerous. We urge customers in stormy and flooded areas to take the following safety precautions:
- Stay far away from downed power lines, flooding and debris; lines could be energized and dangerous.
- Use extreme caution while driving. Power interruptions may cause traffic signals to stop working without warning. If you come to an intersection with a non-working traffic signal, Florida law requires that you treat it as a four-way stop.
- If using a portable generator:
- Follow the manufacturer's recommendations for proper use;
- Plug appliances directly into the generator, not into the main electric panel, because the electricity may flow back into power lines and cause injuries;
- Only a licensed electrician should connect a generator to a main electric panel;
- Never operate a generator inside your home or garage; and
- Keep generators well away from open windows to prevent dangerous fumes from entering your home or a neighbor's home.
- Ensure that all electric appliances, especially ovens and stoves, are turned off to prevent fires.
- Visit FPL.com for additional safety tips.
How we restore power
We don't restore power based on when customers report an outage, where customers live or the status of accounts. Rather, we begin in multiple locations and follow an overall plan that calls for restoring power to the largest number of customers safely and as quickly as possible:
- We start by repairing any damage to our power plants and the power lines that carry electricity from our plants to the local substations.
- We prioritize restoring power to critical facilities, such as hospitals, police and fire stations, communication facilities, water treatment plants and transportation providers.
- At the same time, we work to return service to the largest number of customers in the shortest amount of time − including service to major thoroughfares that host supermarkets, pharmacies, gas stations and other needed community services.
- From here, we repair the infrastructure serving smaller groups and neighborhoods, converging on the hardest-hit areas until every customer's power is restored.
We are committed to keeping you informed
FPL communicates restoration information to customers frequently through the news media and the following resources:
- FPL website: FPL.com
- Twitter: twitter.com/insideFPL
- Facebook: facebook.com/FPLconnect
- FPL blog: FPLblog.com
Visit FPL.com/powertracker for hourly updates of outage and restoration information.
Florida Power & Light Company
Florida Power & Light Company is the third-largest electric utility in the United States, serving more than 4.8 million customer accounts or more than 10 million people across nearly half of the state of Florida. FPL's typical 1,000-kWh residential customer bill is approximately 30 percent lower than the latest national average and, in 2015, was the lowest in Florida among reporting utilities for the sixth year in a row. FPL's service reliability is better than 99.98 percent, and its highly fuel-efficient power plant fleet is one of the cleanest among all utilities nationwide. The company received the top ranking in the southern U.S. among large electric providers, according to the J.D. Power 2016 Electric Utility Residential Customer Satisfaction StudySM, and was recognized in 2016 as one of the most trusted U.S. electric utilities by Market Strategies International. A leading Florida employer with approximately 8,800 employees, FPL is a subsidiary of Juno Beach, Fla.-based NextEra Energy, Inc. (NYSE: NEE), a clean energy company widely recognized for its efforts in sustainability, ethics and diversity, and has been ranked No. 1 in the electric and gas utilities industry in Fortune's 2016 list of "World's Most Admired Companies." NextEra Energy is also the parent company of NextEra Energy Resources, LLC, which, together with its affiliated entities, is the world's largest generator of renewable energy from the wind and sun. For more information about NextEra Energy companies, visit these websites: www.NextEraEnergy.com, www.FPL.com, www.NextEraEnergyResources.com.
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SOURCE Florida Power & Light Company