Blame it on the workload. The separate Florida Assisted Living Association said many of its South Florida members lacked electricity.
More than three days after the full brunt of Irma was felt in St. Johns County, 36,000 customers were still without power by Wednesday afternoon. Owner Ralph Marrinson said all five of his Florida facilities lost electricity after Irma. If you come to an intersection with a non-working traffic signal, Florida law requires that you treat it as a four-way stop. We follow an overall plan that calls for restoring power to the largest number of customers safely and as quickly as possible.
Almost 700 crew members are working to restore power in Sarasota and Manatee counties, said FPL spokesman Bill Orlove.
FPL, which serves almost five million homes and businesses, said it expects to restore power to essentially all its users, in the eastern portion of Florida, by the end of the weekend and the harder-hit western portion of the state by September 22. In addition to Florida, they hail from Maryland, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
The out-of-state teams are able to sleep, eat and shower and do their laundry in trailers supplied by a vendor at 20 large staging areas, including the South Florida Fairgrounds in Palm Beach County.
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For example, from 8 a.m.to 10.a.m.in Sarasota, 160 additional people were reported without power. "We have mobilized the largest restoration force in USA history and you have our firm commitment that we won't stop working until every last customer's lights are back on". Power has already been restored to more than 770,000 customers.
Orlove disputed complaints from some customers who say they aren't seeing restoration work in their neighborhoods. "The source of an issue could be the power line two miles away".
"Just because you don't see a crew near you doesn't mean they are not working", Mauldin said.
Another problem was the hurricane's strong winds blowing salt water far inland, posing problems for insulators on main power lines up and down the Treasure Coast.
Irma also continues to affect the region's cellphone service, which can be a critical link in reporting emergencies and keeping in touch with family. Almost 15 percent of the 123 cell sites in Charlotte are down, while just 10, or 4.2 percent, in Manatee.
At least 34 people have died in the USA under Irma-related circumstances, the vast majority in Florida. Marco Rubio and Bill Nelson urged the FCC to help restore the communications networks in Florida, where cell service is down 13 percent. "Wireless phones provide displaced residents with a critical lifeline to first responders, family and friends, important information about the state's recovery from the storm, and government assistance".