Lights still out for 5.8 million U.S. customers after Irma

Lynette Rowe
September 16, 2017

In Sarasota County, 23 percent of customers - 59,600 FPL customers and four cooperative customers - were waiting for power to be restored as of 9 a.m.

More than 5.5 million customers across Florida lost power because of Hurricane Irma, but millions are still waiting for the lights to come back on.

Georgia Power said it believes 95 percent of impacted customers will see service restored by Sunday night. Locations without power have been flagged to the state to help utilities prioritize their work, the group said in a statement. A workforce of more than 21,500 employees and contractors from almost 30 states and Canada have worked around the clock.

While power has been restored to many since the disaster, a few customers may be without electricity for weeks before the utilities fix the most damaged parts of the system, Reuters reports.

Duke Energy Florida had about 371,000 outages, while electric cooperatives had more than 323,000. Among the damage, the company said, were more than 1,000 power poles, 2,000 trees and 350 transformers.

Tree damage in Wrens Georgia following Hurricane Irma

Power was restored to 3.2 million customers.

"We know that our customers want their lives to get back to normal - and electricity is a key part of that", said Gordon Gillette, President and Chief Executive Officer of Tampa Electric.

"The data that you're asking for is not something that's as granular as we have at this stage in the restoration".

Sorry, Miami, but Florida Power & Light isn't really going to pay for that old rotten food inside your refrigerator. He held calls with utility companies and directed the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) to provide law enforcement escorts to utility vehicles to ensure that they can quickly and safely reach communities still in need.

"Our restoration team, comprised of more than 21,500 men and women from almost 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".

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