JUNO BEACH, Fla., Sept. 11, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) has launched a massive effort to restore power to the approximately 4.4 million customers impacted by Hurricane Irma, some of whom may have experienced multiple outages. Nearly 19,500 FPL employees and workers from other utilities and electrical contracting companies have commenced restoration, and as of 7 p.m., more than 1.1 million customers who were affected by the storm have had their service restored.
"Hurricane Irma is unprecedented by almost every measure – its size, destructive power and slow movement. All 27,000 square miles and 35 counties of our service territory have been impacted by this devastating storm," said Eric Silagy, president and CEO of FPL. "We have the largest restoration workforce in U.S. history responding to the worst storm in our company's history. Our crews are out restoring power, and every hour of every day more and more people are getting their lights back. That said, we anticipate that much of the electric system in Southwest Florida will require a complete rebuild, which could take weeks. In contrast, we expect our electric system along Florida's East Coast will require more traditional repairs. Regardless, this will be a lengthy restoration effort."
FPL crews are working to restore service to its customers safely and as quickly as possible. We must get a solid assessment of the full extent of the damage from this powerful and devastating hurricane before we can provide a system-wide or county-level estimated time of restoration. FPL understands that people need to know when their power will be restored, and we pledge to communicate increasingly specific information as soon as we are able.
"FPL's massive restoration workforce of nearly 19,500 is out in force responding to outages caused by Irma," added Silagy. "I urge all of our customers across the state to continue to be prepared for widespread and prolonged power outages. We ask for the patience of our customers during what will be one of the most challenging rebuild and restoration efforts in our company's history. We understand how challenging it is to be without power for a long period of time, and will work around the clock until all of our customers have their electricity back on."
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. However, customers can report an outage at FPL.com/outage or using the FPL Mobile App. 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.
Substation flood mitigation technology preventing damage
During Irma, FPL proactively shut down two substations in the areas of St. Augustine and South Daytona that were forecast to have extensive flooding in order to mitigate damage to the system.
As a lesson learned from 2012's Superstorm Sandy, FPL has installed real-time water monitors at 223 substations that are most susceptible to storm surge throughout our service area. Substations play a critical role in providing service to customers by reducing high-voltage electricity from transmission lines to a level that can be distributed throughout FPL's service area. While the monitors clearly cannot prevent flooding, they do give us more advanced warning if a flood threat emerges and allow us to proactively shut down a substation earlier. This potentially mitigates damage to our system and allows us to bring the substation online faster following a storm.
How we restore power
FPL has begun restoring power in multiple locations. We follow an overall plan that calls for restoring power to the largest number of customers safely and as quickly as possible. We don't restore power based on when customers report an outage, where customers live or the status of accounts:
As restoration continues, there are a few ways customers can help:
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:
Additional safety tips are available at FPL.com/storm. In addition, customers can download the new FPL Mobile App for on-the-go, instant and secure access to their accounts. Customers can report or get the latest information on an outage. The app is available for download in the iOS App Store and Google Play. Since the app launched at the beginning of storm season, there has been nearly half-a-million downloads.
How to recognize FPL workers and contractors
FPL takes the safety of our customers very seriously, and we want you to know how to identify FPL workers:
How to stay informed
FPL communicates restoration information to customers frequently through the news media and the following resources:
Visit FPL.com/powertracker for outage 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.
SOURCE Florida Power & Light Company