ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. —As Hurricane Irma swept by way of South Florida, energy-firm officers warned Sunday that restoring electrical energy to greater than 1.three million houses and companies will probably be a sluggish and harmful course of that may take weeks.
Florida Energy & Mild CEO Eric Silagy stated at a information convention that he expects full energy restoration after the storm to take “multi-weeks,” because it did after the Class 5 Hurricane Andrew struck South Florida in 1992.
“Plan for prolonged and extended outages,” FPL spokesman Rob Gould stated. “We anticipate, given the very fact the storm has slowed down, lots of our clients will probably be out for a day or longer, provided that, very similar to emergency responders, our crews can’t get out and work. It’s simply too harmful.”
The corporate stated repairs and restoration would take one million man-hours to finish statewide. In South Florida, 17,000 line and vegetation staff employed by FPL and corporations in California, Massachusetts Texas, Colorado and Wisconsin, are in place to start out restoration work.
The workforce incorporates about 1,000 extra crews than have been assembled for Hurricane Matthew in 2016.
“It will little question be probably the most complicated, not simply in our firm’s historical past however within the historical past of this nation, when it comes to restoration,” Gould stated.
Broward and Miami-Dade counties endured tropical drive winds all through Sunday, with Irma simply 30 miles off the coast of Key West earlier than arriving at Cudjoe Key at 9:10 a.m. as a Class four storm.
FPL stated it’ll shut down sure substations earlier than they flood, to allow them to flip them again on extra shortly. Silagy stated that was a way that labored throughout Superstorm Sandy within the Northeast and FPL discovered that it labored throughout Hurricane Matthew final yr.
As of noon Sunday, there have been 450,060 outages reported in Broward County, representing forty eight % of FPL’s countywide buyer accounts. Miami-Dade County was probably the most closely hit with 703,940 or sixty two % of the accounts dropping energy. In Palm Seashore County, the whole was 217,420 or 28 %.
Gould stated service to about 320,000 accounts had been restored and that crews have been out working wherever attainable. However frequent twister warnings that started Saturday night time have created a further hazard and obstacle to these working to revive energy.
The restoration of energy is not any assure that it gained’t exit once more, Gould stated. Larger winds, heavy rain and storm surges have been…