Hurricane Irma: Florida faces days without power after deadly storm

Sep 14, 2017, 00:11
Hurricane Irma: Florida faces days without power after deadly storm

It gradually weakened as it headed through the state, becoming a tropical storm and then a tropical depression on Monday.

Eric Silagy, the CEO of Florida Power & Light, said Irma caused the most widespread damage in the company's history. In Georgia, utilities reported over 1.1 million customers without power Tuesday, down from a peak of around 1.3 million on Monday night. A unit of NextEra Energy Inc and the state's biggest power company, FPL said its outages held at around 3.6 million for much of Monday morning. Among the hardest hit by Irma: Florida: About 4.4 million customers are without power across the state, authorities said. Georgia Power and Alabama Power are subsidiaries of Atlanta-based Southern Co. Although Puerto Rico did not take a direct hit from Irma, thousands of residents are still without power on the island.

The latter figure doesn't include the nursing home deaths, which police said were under investigation. At least 17 storm-related deaths have already been reported on the United States mainland, according to local officials: Florida has reported 12 deaths, Alberto C. Moscoso, a spokesman for Florida Division of Emergency Management, said Tuesday evening.Georgia had three deaths.

At least 17 storm-related deaths have been reported in the states. During power outages, residents will sometimes run their generators inside their homes or garages.

FPL said on Wednesday it had provided power to some parts of a nursing home where people died after the facility lost electricity during Irma and that the home was not on a list "critical facilities" prioritized for emergency power restoration. Nonetheless, FPL stated it has the largest restoration workforce in USA history responding to the electric power outages. Almost 19,500 FPL employees and workers from other utilities and electrical contracting companies are working to restore power, mostly in the utility's South Florida service territory.

The fatalities should spur everyone to check up on senior citizens, who are among the most vulnerable to Florida's stifling heat, exacerbated by power outages that might extend into next week, Hollywood Mayor Josh Levy said. Customers on the west coast of Florida, where Hurricane Irma made landfall, will likely have power restored by September 22, according to the company. FPL reduced power at one reactor at the St. Lucie nuclear plant due to salt buildup in a switchyard from Irma.

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