Power restored to more than 97 percent of high-priority critical infrastructure facilities served by FPL, including 100 percent of hospitals, emergency operations centers, air and seaports, correctional facilities and active military installations
- All 6,897 miles of transmission lines and all 601 substations are back in service
- Power restored to nearly 3.2 million customers in first 72 hours since Irma cleared Florida
- Thousands of personnel continue working around the clock to restore remaining 28 percent of customers without power
- Majority of crews are now working in local communities and neighborhoods to get individual streets and homes back on
JUNO BEACH, Fla., Sept. 14, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) today announced that power has been restored to more than 97 percent of high-priority critical infrastructure facilities in the company's service area, including 100 percent of hospitals, emergency operations centers, air and seaports, correctional facilities and active military installations. In addition, all 6,897 miles of transmission lines and all 601 substations are back in service.
The company's massive restoration operation continues to work aggressively around the clock to restore service to the remaining 28 percent of customers that were impacted by Hurricane Irma. So far, FPL has restored power to nearly 3.2 million customers – 72 percent of those impacted by Irma as of 6 p.m. today.
"As we complete restoration on critical infrastructure facilities and primary power lines, we're moving more and more of our teams into neighborhoods to repair power lines and local transformers in order to bring light back to every community we serve. This means going street by street, house by house," said Eric Silagy, president and CEO of FPL. "Our restoration team, comprised of more than 21,500 men and women from nearly 30 states and Canada, is making steady progress every hour across 27,000 square miles of territory impacted by Irma, and we continue to bring thousands of customers back on each and every day. We thank our customers for their patience and support. If you are still without power, we want you to know we are coming."
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 6 p.m. today, more than 97 percent of these have been restored, including:
- 112 major hospitals – 100 percent restored
- 44 emergency operations centers – 100 percent restored
- 54 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
In addition, approximately 400 nursing homes classified as priority critical infrastructure facilities were impacted by Irma, and more than 93 percent have been restored. Nearly 2,000 impacted schools classified as priority critical infrastructure facilities have been fully restored as have more than 1,400 impacted gas stations.
Assessing damage from the sky
After an emergency such as Irma, it can be a challenge for our crews to safely assess the damage in the hardest-hit areas, which can extend the amount of time it takes to restore power. Our engineers are deploying state-of-the-art drone technology, allowing us to get a bird's-eye view of storm damage and quickly share information and video with our restoration teams.
"We're using technology in more ways than ever before to help get your power back on as quickly as possible," said Silagy. "Nearly 50 drone teams are out helping crews get eyes on our electric system to facilitate restoration. This high-tech solution provides valuable insight into areas of dense vegetation and flooding, and helps us get the right crews and resources in the right places more quickly."
Restoration information available online
FPL expects to restore power to essentially all customers throughout our service territory by end of day next Friday, Sept. 22. For FPL customers in counties on the eastern side of the state, restoration is projected to be complete by the end of the weekend, Sept. 17. In Southwest Florida, where the damage is most extensive, restoration is more challenging and currently estimated to be completed by Sept. 22. Exceptions to these estimates could occur in areas impacted by tornadoes, severe flooding and other extreme conditions.
"I want to take this opportunity to thank our partners in what is arguably the largest restoration effort in the history of the U.S.," said Silagy. "In each community, first responders, police and fire departments, county officials and countless others have been side-by-side with us as we work to do right by our customers. There's no way we would be as far along in the restoration effort without these critical partnerships, and we won't rest until every customer's lights are back on."
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.
Crews working to restore your power may not be visible to you
FPL's restoration operation is working around the clock after Irma to get power back on for every customer. Thousands of men and women are safely restoring service as quickly as possible. Even when you do not see them, our team is working to restore your power.
- Because of the way power is distributed, crews may be working on the same line from multiple locations, and one crew may have been directed to stop work while another takes action. Workers could be on a different street or at a substation working to restore your power.
- If you see a crew passing but not stopping, it may be because work must be performed at a nearby location before electric service can be restored to your home.
- In many instances, homes on the same street are served by different main power lines and even different substations. If work is completed on one of the main lines but not the other, it's possible for some neighbors to have power while other neighbors do not.
- Utilities work together when a disaster happens. FPL is receiving support from utilities and other companies from nearly 30 states and Canada. So while you might not see an FPL truck on your street or in your neighborhood during a power outage, you may see our partners from other companies who are part of our restoration team.
As restoration continues, there are a few ways customers can help:
- Avoid stopping crews to ask when power will be restored. Directing questions to FPL restoration workers slows down their work and, more importantly, can compromise their safety. Typically, restoration workers don't know restoration times. They've been assigned to a single segment of an affected line. FPL will provide estimated times of restoration through the media, Facebook, Twitter and FPL.com.
- When you're out driving, clear the way for FPL trucks so that crews can get to their next work site faster. The restoration workers truly appreciate this courtesy, as they work long hours to get the power back on for all affected customers.
- When gathering post-storm debris, keep utility poles and transformers clear so that restoration workers have access to them.
We're committed to keeping you informed and are providing frequent updates through the news media and our own information channels:
Please stay safe
We caution customers to stay focused on safety.
- If you have a medical emergency, or if you require electricity for medical equipment – don't wait for power to be restored – call 911, seek help from a special needs shelter.
- FPL reminds customers in flooded areas to take the following safety precautions:
- Stay far away from downed power lines, flooding and debris. Downed lines may be energized and dangerous. If you see a downed power line, call FPL at 1-800-4OUTAGE (1-800-468-8243).
- In a flooded home, battery-powered lighting is the safest lighting source. Use flashlights when inspecting a home for possible damage.
- Use caution when disconnecting electrical appliances that are still plugged in. Don't stand in water when operating switches, plugging in or unplugging electrical cords.
- When resetting circuit breakers, wear dry, rubber-soled shoes and stand on something dry and non-conductive, such as a dry piece of wood or wooden furniture.
- Use 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 you to 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.
- Exercise caution and avoid all power lines when cleaning up hurricane debris and vegetation:
- No trimming should be done near a power line. Do not attempt to remove or trim foliage within 10 feet of a power line. If a tree or tree limbs have fallen on a power line or pulled it down, do not approach the line or the tree. Customers should call FPL at 1-800-4OUTAGE (1-800-468-8243) to report conditions such as downed power lines or sparking electrical equipment. Call 911 for life-threatening emergencies.
- Be especially careful when working with any extended equipment or tools. Be sure that ladders or scaffolds are far enough away so that you – and the ends of the tools you're using – stay at least 10 feet away from power lines.
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:
- FPL employees carry a photo identification badge.
- The cars and trucks of non-FPL employees who are helping with restoration efforts are typically marked as FPL-approved contractors or emergency workers.
- FPL employees, contractors and workers from other utilities helping with post-storm restoration efforts may need to work on your property, but they will not need to enter your home or business.
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
For further information: Florida Power & Light Company, Media Line: 561-694-4442, @FPL_Newsroom