JUNO BEACH, Fla., Sept. 16, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Florida Power & Light Company is working aggressively to restore power to the remaining customers affected by Hurricane Irma, and as of this evening, fewer than 500,000 people remain without power.
Restoration in Palm Beach, Indian River, Martin, St. Lucie and Union counties is 95 percent complete or higher. Brevard, Broward and Columbia counties are all at least 90 percent restored. Duval, Hardee, Orange and Osceola counties are 100 percent restored. Any customers who do not have power in these counties should report their outage online at FPL.com/outage.
"The restoration process does not play favorites. To our customers who are still waiting on power to be restored to them, I want you to know that we are working as fast as we can to get you and all other FPL customers back online," said Eric Silagy, president and CEO of FPL.
FPL has established walk-up sites for our customers in several communities. These sites provide charging stations, water, Wi-Fi, ice, community service and restoration information, and customer service assistance. Please visit FPL.com/powertracker for a list of locations and times.
"In the wake of a natural disaster, it's heartening to see how Floridians have come together. We salute our partners in every community – first responders, local officials, community leaders and countless others have been side-by-side with us through this unprecedented restoration effort. There's no way we would be as far along as we are without you," Silagy said.
Donation to Hurricane Irma relief
The NextEra Energy Foundation, the charitable arm of Florida Power & Light Company and its parent company, NextEra Energy, Inc., is donating $1 million to the Florida Disaster Fund to support relief efforts in the wake of Hurricane Irma. In addition, the Foundation will match employee contributions.
"Our employees call Florida home, too," said Jim Robo, chairman and CEO of NextEra Energy, Inc. "Like many others, our employees have been impacted personally by Irma's wrath, and every day in the field we see fellow Floridians whose homes and businesses were damaged and lives uprooted by this brutal force of nature. As energy company employees in the aftermath of a hurricane, restoring power is our imperative. As Floridians recovering from a massive natural disaster, helping our communities rebuild is our duty."
Significant challenges caused by trees and debris damaging lines
As the restoration effort moves into neighborhoods, crews are finding unexpected damage in the hardest-hit areas, including whole trees pulling down power lines and dense vegetation blocking roadways, preventing crews and equipment from getting in to make the necessary repairs.
"In some of the communities we serve along the eastern coast, rows of what were once picturesque banyan trees have toppled onto each other like a house of cards, making roads impassable. In addition, we're seeing that the wrong trees have been planted in the wrong places, which creates a greater likelihood that trees may collapse and damage powerlines and electric equipment," Silagy said.
FPL has assembled the largest restoration workforce in U.S. history. More than 24,000 personnel are working throughout the company's 35-county service area to safely restore power as quickly as possible. With most major power lines and critical infrastructure now restored, more and more crews are transitioning to tackle smaller groups of outages in thousands of neighborhoods across the state.
Critical Infrastructure Facility Update
As part of its established process in preparation for hurricane season each year, FPL works with each of the 35 counties it serves to determine the appropriate entities to be classified as critical infrastructure facilities. These critical infrastructure facilities are divided into high-priority and priority categories and incorporated into FPL's restoration plans.
Nearly 1,000 accounts classified as high-priority critical infrastructure facilities were impacted by Irma. As of this evening, more than 99 percent of these have been restored, including:
- 112 major hospitals – 100 percent restored
- 44 emergency operations centers – 100 percent restored
- 55 air transportation facilities – 100 percent restored
- 31 seaports and related infrastructure – 100 percent restored
- 21 correctional facilities – 100 percent restored
- 55 active military installations – 100 percent restored
- 22 licensed nursing homes – 100 percent restored
- 12 licensed assisted living facilities – 100 percent restored
- 4 hospice facilities – 100 percent restored
- 12 mission-critical cellular facilities – 100 percent restored
- 4 dialysis centers – 100 percent restored
- 36 critical well fields – 100 percent restored
- 108 water-treatment and sewage-treatment plants – 99 percent restored (1 remaining out)
- 34 shelters – 97 percent restored (1 remaining out)
- 77 police facilities – 99 percent restored (1 remaining out)
- 81 fire stations – 98 percent restored (2 remaining out)
- 67 911-dispatch centers – 99 percent restored (1 remaining out)
In addition, approximately 400 nursing homes classified as priority critical infrastructure facilities were impacted by Irma, and more than 99 percent have now been restored. More than 2,200 impacted schools classified as priority critical infrastructure facilities have been fully restored as have nearly 1,900 impacted gas stations.
FPL will continue to communicate restoration information through the media and online via FPL.com, Facebook and Twitter. Customers should call FPL at 1-800-4OUTAGE (1-800-468-8243) only to report conditions such as downed power lines or sparking electrical equipment. Call 911 for life-threatening emergencies.
Be certain your home or business is ready to receive power
If the power is on next door but yours is not, make certain that your home or business is ready to receive it by checking the connection to FPL.
- Look at the meter, the box that holds it, and connected pipes and wires on the wall of the building.
- If the meter box, pipes or wires are bent or broken, repairs may be needed before FPL can restore power. If it looks damaged, contact a licensed electrician. Do not touch damaged equipment.
- If the meter itself is damaged, restoration workers will replace it.
Please stay safe and help us keep crews safe
We urge you to continue taking the following safety precautions:
- Please heed Florida's Move Over Law that requires drivers to move over and slow down whenever there is a utility worker, law enforcement officer or a first responder on the side of the road.
- 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.
How to stay informed
FPL communicates restoration information to customers frequently through the news media and the following resources:
- Power Tracker: FPL.com/powertracker
- FPL website: FPL.com
- Twitter: twitter.com/insideFPL
- Facebook: facebook.com/FPLconnect
- FPL blog: FPLblog.com
- FPL Mobile App: Download from the App Store or Google Play
Visit FPL.com/storm for the latest restoration information.
Florida Power & Light Company
Florida Power & Light Company is the third-largest electric utility in the United States, serving nearly 5 million customer accounts or an estimated 10 million people across nearly half of the state of Florida. FPL's typical 1,000-kWh residential customer bill is approximately 25 percent lower than the latest national average and, in 2016, was the lowest in Florida among reporting utilities for the seventh 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 2017 as one of the most trusted U.S. electric utilities by Market Strategies International. A leading Florida employer with approximately 8,900 employees, FPL is a subsidiary of Juno Beach, Florida-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 2017 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