FPL: Power should return to Florida's East Coast by weekend's end

FPL: Power should return to Florida's East Coast by weekend's end

FPL: Power should return to Florida's East Coast by weekend's end

That's how the Edison Electric Institute (EEI) trade group described the challenge facing utilities in the days and weeks to come.

More than 6.7 million homes and businesses are without electricity after the powerful hurricane tore through the Caribbean and Florida before weakening into a tropical storm on Monday.

The initial assessment showed that damage was less extensive on the eastern half of the state, said Rob Gould, FPL chief communications officer said.

Toronto Hydro is sending 30 staffers to aid in the restoration efforts in Tampa Bay while Hydro One said Sunday night that it would send 175 employees after receiving a request from Florida Power and Light.

FPL is restoring power according to its detailed plan, restoring it first to critical services, next to large commercial areas.

Meanwhile, a convoy of federal emergency management trucks was preparing to head to Florida from an Alabama staging area to help with Irma recovery on Tuesday morning. In some coastal counties the outage rates are as high as 97 percent.

On Florida's harder-hit Gulf Coast, FPL estimates power restoration could wrap up by September 22.

FPL said it estimates that east coast customers will have power by the end of the weekend, except in areas hit by tornadoes, flooding and severe damage.

Southern Florida has been the hardest hit by Irma.

Recently, in 2016, Gulf Power responded to the City of Tallahassee and Georgia Power following Hurricane Hermine's landfall.

Only 59 power substations were down Tuesday, out of the company's more than 600. Like FPL, it reported that "in some cases, these could be long-duration outages, particularly if energy infrastructure must be rebuilt before power can be restored".

Tropical storm force winds can reach over 150 miles per hour, which can cause these concrete polls to break entirely.

FPL said its two nuclear plants were safe. The utility has about 3,400 employees working on restoring the outages.

Hydro One is a leader in safety and storm restoration efforts.

"We understand what it means to be in the dark, what it means to be hot and without air-conditioning", he said.

"Restoring power to our Gulf Power customers will be our priority". The company is restoring power with a record-high workforce of almost 19,500 people, including crews, trucks and equipment from across the USA and Canada.

Post-Irma woes continue for the millions of Floridians who remain without power. The plant's other reactor, Unit 2, continued to operate at full power.

Georgia Power reported no problems with its power plants, including its Vogtle and Hatch nuclear power plants, which it noted "are created to withstand significant hazard events, including hurricane force winds and flooding".

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