JUNO BEACH, Fla., Sept. 10, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) has already restored power to hundreds of thousands of customers as Hurricane Irma continues to move through the state and the company expects additional, lengthy outages as Irma remains a threat to millions of customers throughout Florida.
"Despite Irma's exceedingly high winds, tornadic activity, storm surge and severe flooding, FPL has restored power to hundreds of thousands of customers, due largely to automation along its energy grid," said Eric Silagy, president and CEO of FPL. "Due to the fact that Irma has slowed considerably, we're seeing significant damage and severe flooding in Miami-Dade and Broward counties, with Irma's impacts now being felt in Palm Beach County and northern coastal communities. We expect the west coast to be the hardest-hit area, requiring an extensive rebuild of our energy grid. As a result, our west coast customers will likely be without power for a much longer period of time. We urge everyone to continue to stay safe and ask for your patience."
Hurricane Irma continues to impact Florida as a powerful Category 3 storm. FPL anticipates that customers will likely experience more than one outage throughout the duration of the storm, particularly as Irma's speed has slowed. As of this afternoon, we have restored more than 350,000 outages in the midst of Hurricane Irma, primarily as a result of the $3 billion invested over the past decade to make our electric system stronger and smarter.
FPL's restoration workforce is restoring power in between bands of severe weather where conditions permit and it's safe to do so. We are poised to begin thorough damage assessments as soon as it is safe to work, and will provide broad estimates of when power will be restored as soon as available.
"We understand how challenging it is to be without power. Just like our customers, we too live here and take this personally, and all of us at FPL are dedicated to getting the lights back on safely and as quickly as possible," added Silagy. "We assembled the largest pre-storm restoration workforce in our nation's history, but this will likely be a recovery effort of historic proportions, extending for weeks. You have my personal commitment that we will continue to work around the clock until every customer's electricity is 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.
How we restore power
FPL will begin restoring power 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 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:
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 hourly updates of 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