Irma Leaves About 65% of Florida Utility Customers in the Dark

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At Gulf Power, a Southern Co. unit that serves just over 455,000 in northwest Florida, spokesman Rick DelaHaya said Monday that the brunt of Irma was just starting to arrive in that region.

As the storm moved to Atlanta Monday, it caused outages for more than a million customers across Georgia.

As Tropical Storm Irma pushed out of Northwest Florida Monday, Gulf Power crews continued to respond to customer outages and planned to join many other utilities to deploy crews to help rebuild and restore power to those areas in the southeast hardest hit by the massive storm.

In the Tampa Bay area, almost 550,000 Duke Energy customers and more than 280,000 TECO customers remain without power. As we did throughout Hurricane Harvey, EEI and the electric power industry are working through the Electricity Subsector Coordinating Council (ESCC) to coordinate with the federal government, other segments of the industry, and critical infrastructure operators.

High traffic volumes because of the number of customers seeking information about getting power restored to their homes was likely to blame, the company told the newspaper.

As of Wednesday morning, Florida Power and Light said 1.9 million of its customers were still without electricity, having restored service to 2.5 million out of 4.4 customers impacted by Irma.

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"We have the largest restoration workforce in USA history responding to the worst storm in our company's history", Eric Silagy, president and CEO of FPL, said. Both took harder-than-expected hits from Irma as the storm's track shift west and then east again.

Rogers added that Gulf Power sent additional lineworkers from the western end of the company's service area to Bay County to ensure there were enough resources to get the lights back on quickly and safely for Gulf Power's customers.

How long will it take for power to be restored?

They plan to spend the next two weeks working to restore power to millions affected by Hurricane Irma. JEA reported 1,287 households without power, down from a peak of 12,904.

FPL has asked those without power to continue to be patient. As a whole, the electric power industry supports more than 7 million jobs in communities across the United States.