Florida swelters and asks: When will power and AC be back?

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Since Hurricane Wilma left many of its customers without power for as long as two weeks in 2005, FPL has invested $3 billion in infrastructure hardening.

Statewide, electricity has been restored to more than 1 million homes and businesses as the broader recovery process got underway from Irma, which hit the Keys and Southwest Florida on Sunday and traveled up the state before exiting North Florida on Monday.

The NRC said it was posting more inspectors at the two Florida plants and was considering sending more inspectors to plants in Georgia and SC should the storm head that way. Without electricity, the combination of heat and humidity, combined with residents who require electricity for medical care, is making life hard for Florida residents, especially the elderly.

The lights could be back on by the end of the weekend. A total of nearly 4.5 million Florida Power & Light customers have been affected by the storm, with about 1 million getting service restored, mostly by automated devices.

"I've been on other storms down in the states and they are pretty happy to see you especially when they find out your from Canada", Dean Edwards, one of the Hydro One employees heading to Florida, told CTV Toronto.

In nearby Orange County, deputies found three people dead and four others were taken to a hospital for treatment of carbon monoxide poisoning Tuesday afternoon.

But in a Florida without electricity in September that is the spitting image of hell, the aphorism turned literal: Everybody wants ice.

That represents 4.1 million customer accounts, FPL president and CEO Eric Silagy said during a Friday press conference. Florida officials estimated 6.7 million households and businesses suffered power loss.

With Hurricane Irma approaching, Florida Power & Light Company has activated its emergency response plan, and we urge our customers to finalize their plans.

Residents can report power outages or downed power lines, or check the status of your outage, here. By late Monday, almost 273,000 electric customers across SC had lost power as tropical storm force winds covered the entirety of the state.

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Q: I don't have power.

In Puerto Rico, nearly a million were without power though the island territory avoided a direct hit. Firefighters are helping evacuate about 100 people from the nursing home.

Neither had been restored by Tuesday evening, the Sun Sentinel reported.

For customers using electric generators, FPL advised residents to set them up outside, away from all open windows, to prevent deadly exhaust from entering a home. In March, a couple in MI died of carbon monoxide poisoning while running a generator inside their enclosed garage attached to their house during widespread power outages from a windstorm. "Additionally, in South Florida some wireline customers may be experiencing issues with their service caused by flooding and storm damage".

That makes it a power outage of rare scope. "About 70 people die every year and many more are injured from carbon monoxide poisoning caused by portable generators", the Consumer Product Safety Commission warns.

And in Alabama, about 7,000 customers remained without electricity, Alabama Power said.

The utility has already positioned equipment and workers to help bring electricity back up and running as fast as possible, but fears the force of Irma's winds may snap concrete poles, Silagy said. Utility partners from 29 states were expected to join FPL's fix crew.

The Florida Power and Light Company asked for help from utility companies across the country, with workers from a reported 30 different states heading to the Sunshine State to help restore power there.

FPL said it will also shut the other nuclear plant in Florida at St Lucie, which also has two reactors on a barrier island on the state's east coast, about 120 miles (193 km) north of Miami.

As it stands, Hurricane Irma is a Category 4 storm, and is seemingly slated to hit Florida on Sunday. Safety systems at USA nuclear plants, including Georgia's Plants Vogtle and Hatch, are created to withstand significant hazard events, including hurricane force winds and flooding.