FPL restores more than 2 million customers within the first day of Hurricane Irma's exit from its service territory

Announced Date :  Sep 12, 2017

Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) announced that as of this evening, it has restored service to slightly more than 2 million customers within the first day of Hurricane Irma's exit from its service territory. Currently, approximately 2.3 million customers remain without power.
"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. "Based upon our initial assessment, it would appear that the significant investments we've made in hardening our energy grid will allow for a quicker restoration. As a result, we fully expect to restore power to essentially all of our customers throughout our service territory by end of day next Friday, with the exception of areas impacted by tornados, severe flooding and other sections of severe damage. You have our commitment we will not rest until everyone has their power back."

FPL has a restoration workforce of more than 20,000, including FPL employees, along with workers from contracting companies and our partner utilities from nearly 30 states and Canada.

Restoration estimates

FPL estimates that it will have restored power to essentially all of its customers along the East Coast service territory by the end of this coming weekend, and for its customers along its West Coast service territory by end of day Sept. 22, with the possible exception of areas impacted by tornadoes, severe flooding and other sections of severe damage.

"We understand how challenging it is to be without power, and we take our responsibility to our customers – our own families, friends and neighbors – seriously," said Silagy. "We ask for the patience of our customers as we undertake one of the most challenging rebuild and restoration efforts in our company's history."

Immediately after a storm, we know if main power lines have been damaged. If customers believe their power is out for this reason, there is no need to contact us.

FPL is currently experiencing issues with FPL.com and the FPL Mobile App due to extreme high volume and is working to resolve the situation. 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.

Investments in the grid

Over the last 11 years, FPL has invested nearly $3 billion to make the energy grid smarter, stronger and more storm-resilient.

"This is the first real test of the grid following our significant investments and, so far, we are encouraged by what we're seeing," said Silagy. "Initial assessments suggest that hardened FPL feeders, which are our main power lines, performed 30 percent better during Irma than non-hardened feeders. The number of poles down across FPL's system also appears to be low despite Irma's high winds, particularly across Florida's West Coast."

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. In addition, Wilma impacted a smaller portion of our service territory – 21 counties – whereas Irma affected all 27,000 square miles covering 35 counties.

"This is an unprecedented event – for both our company and our customers," said Silagy. "Most of the outages we're seeing are a result of trees and debris blowing into our lines. Hurricane Irma's devastating wrath was felt throughout the entire state – the storm uprooted trees, transformed roads into rivers, tore roofs off homes and businesses, and left millions of Floridians in the dark," said Silagy. "That said, we train for this year-round and we are better prepared for hurricanes now than at any time in our company's history. We have mobilized the largest restoration force in U.S. history and you have our firm commitment that we won't stop working until every last customer's lights are back on."

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