Millions of Florida Homes and Businesses Still Don't Have Power

Irma Leaves 6.5 Million Florida Utility Customers in the Dark

Irma Leaves 6.5 Million Florida Utility Customers in the Dark

"The company expects power to be restored to western Florida - more heavily damaged by the storm - by September 22".

"The industry's Irma response is one of the largest and most complex power restoration efforts in USA history", said Tom Kuhn of the Edison Electric Institute, a lobbying group that represents all US investor-owned electric companies.

"We know our customers are incredibly frustrated and simply want their power back on", Eric Silagy, chief executive of the state's largest utility, said in a statement.

The center of Irma will continue to move over the western Florida peninsula through Monday morning and then into the southeastern United States late Monday and Tuesday.

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Utility officials are warning residents that it could take weeks to get the lights back on in parts of the Southeast. The deaths occur after the storm has ended but if there are power outages.

"With Hurricane Harvey, the folks that the people in Texas needed were more "management of the storm effort type" roles and so we were able to send people that would fit that type of position", Moye said.

The utility serves 1.8 million customers in the state, from the Florida panhandle south to the central part of the state.

Georgia Power reported 870,000 customers without electricity Tuesday morning, which is roughly half of their residential customer base.

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At the news briefing, WPTV's Alyssa Hyman asked, "Can you explain to people how you make these priorities and where, specifically in our viewing area at least, are your crews are working to address first and foremost?" The company will regularly update the Outage Map and other customer notification resources during the remainder of the Hurricane Irma restoration process with any changes in these ERTs.

Customers of Florida Power & Light Co., a unit of NextEra Energy Inc. and the state's largest investor-owned utility, were the most affected by outages.

Ninety percent of the homes on the islands were destroyed or damaged. Never touch any downed or low-hanging wire, including telephone or cable wires that touch a power line.

Standing in front of a produce cooler at a reopened Publix grocery store in Naples, Missy Sieber said the worst thing about not having electricity is not having air conditioning. Most of those deaths were the result of either medical issues as they prepared for the storm or carbon monoxide poisoning. As neighbor after neighbor on her block tried to call Duke Energy for help, they heard that just 80 homes in their neighborhood lost power - out of more than 100,000 across Pinellas County.

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Throughout the day Tuesday, state officials gradually lowered the number of customers without power, dropping it to 5.2 million from 6.5 million a day earlier. "The crew told us we're not getting power for two weeks". The two nuclear plants have a strong record of weathering intense storms.

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