- Communities and utilities are beginning to recover from Hurricane Matthew, which battered the east coast as a Category 3 hurricane and left more than a dozen dead in its wake.
- Florida Power & Light faced almost 1 million outages, but as of this morning said all but about 56,000 customers had power restored. Duke Energy said it had restored power to 600,000 customers in its service area, but 550,000 outages remained in the Carolinas on Sunday evening.
- Much work is still being done: Yesterday, the Edison Electric Institute said almost 30,000 workers are dealing with approximately 1.2 million customers still without power.
For the utility industry, it's not yet clear what the Matthew storyline will be. Did utilities restore power quickly, face too many outages or accurately forecast the impacts?
As of yesterday, EEI said more than 1 million people still had no power — but 2 million had already been restored.
Florida Power & Light accounted for about a third of the storm's overall outages. A quarter million customers lost power in Brevard County, and 950,000 were without power at some point. But as of this morning, more than 50,000 remained in the dark.
The utility said more than 1 million could have been without power, in a worst case scenario.
It's a mixed bag for the utility that a consulting group last year called the most reliable in the nation. PA Consulting Group said FPL's grid investments "allowed them to take significant steps towards strengthening their infrastructure."
FPL may have escaped the worst of the damage, only to see Matthew's strong winds batter Duke Energy's service territory in the Carolinas. More than a million customers lost power through the storm, the utility said in a release on Sunday, and more than 680,000 were without power simultaneously at the storm's peak. About 150,000 customers of rural electric cooperatives in the Carolinas were also affected, according to the News Observer.
All told, EEI said more than 3.2 customers of member companies — the organization represents investor-owned utilities — were impacted by the storm. more than 60% have had their power restored so far.
“While Hurricane Matthew has gone out to sea, conditions remain hazardous in many locations,” said EEI President Tom Kuhn. “In some communities, flooding and downed trees have made roads impassable, creating challenges in the effort to assess damages. As is always the case in restoration, our companies’ initial priorities will be safety and restoration of critical services, while they assess the overall damage to energy infrastructure.”