- A week after Hurricane Irma devastated south Florida and left most of the state in the dark, the state's largest utility is still struggling to bring the last 300,000 customers back online.
- Florida Power & Light issued a statement Sunday saying the utility had restored power to more than 4.1 million customers within six days, but the hardest hit areas on the southwest coast would likely take several more days.
- Georgia Power reported it had restored service to 99% of customers. Duke Energy Florida also restored power to virtually all customers, but the company apologized for a lack of communication that angered thousands.
The majority of utility customers who lost power in Hurricane Irma's battering winds have had service restored, but in some hard-hit areas as well as a few isolated pockets, the work continues.
"We know patience has worn thin," said FPL CEO Eric Silagy. "We're working day and night to help our customers' lives return to normal."
About 300,000 customers remain without power, according to a Sept. 17 statement. "Our efforts are centered on getting the lights back on for our customers who have been without power the longest," Silagy said.
FPL said restoration in Brevard, Broward, Clay, Flagler, Indian River, Okeechobee, Palm Beach, Seminole, St. Johns, Union and Volusia counties is 95% complete or higher. Columbia, Duval, Hardee, Martin, Orange, Osceola and St. Lucie counties are 100% restored.
The populous Miami-Dade County is nearly 95% restored, and FPL said it is on track to have restoration essentially complete on Tuesday. In Northeast Florida counties, including Flagler County north through Nassau County, FPL said it was on track to restore power today and tomorrow.
In Southwest Florida, where the utility's system took the most direct hit, restoration in Sarasota, Manatee, Charlotte, DeSoto and Hendry counties is nearly 85% complete but is still projected to be essentially done on Wednesday. Lee and Glades counties are nearly 85% restored and are projected to be essentially complete by Thursday night.
In Collier County, where Irma made landfall and did the most damage, restoration is above 65% and should be completed late this week, said FPL.
Duke Energy Florida said this weekend it had restored more than 99% of outages, but officials also apologized for customer service during the event.
Duke announced a self-imposed deadline of midnight Friday to restore power to thousands of customers, the Tampa Bay Times reports, but the utility missed the mark for many, sowing discontent in the sweltering post-storm heat.
"Our customers are angry and frustrated that we could not provide them better information. I want to reassure them that we have not stopped and will not stop until our customers are restored," Duke Energy Florida President Harry Sideris said in a statement. "Given the scale and scope of the extensive repairs, we need just a little more time in some areas to finish the job."
Georgia Power, which had faced about 1 million outages, has also restored power to 99% of customers.
"The destruction from Hurricane Irma was unprecedented across Georgia, and throughout the Southeast," Georgia Power President, CEO and Chairman Paul Bowers, said in a statement.
The utility estimated Irma damage included nearly 1,500 broken or damaged power poles, 2,400 fallen trees, 450 damaged transformers, and more than 6,000 spans of wire totaling nearly 230 miles.