ORLANDO, Fla. - If you're wondering when you'll get your power back, you are not alone. More than half of Florida was without power after Hurricane Irma slashed through the Sunshine State.
Statewide Tuesday evening, more than 132,000 accounts remained without power, a dramatic drop since Sept. 11 when more than half the state was without it, according to the Florida Division of Emergency Management.
The greatest outages are in Southwest Florida, the Florida Keys and Highlands County.
Rob Gould, vice president and chief communications officer for Florida Power & Light, said Wednesday that FPL expects to have power on for most customers along the state's eastern coast by the end of this weekend, but other areas could take up to 10 days or more.
Gould said it would take until the end of Sept. 22 to restore power along the state's western coast, where the damage was much more severe. He did say that some areas hit by tornadoes or flooding may take longer.
Utility officials said they have nearly 20,000 workers helping with the restoration effort. FPL has crews from as far away as Canada and California.
"We are racing to get the lights back on, we've been making some really good progress," Gould said, adding that crews are restoring power at a rate about 25 percent faster than they did after Hurricane Wilma in 2005.
News 6 spent Wednesday in hard-hit Sanford with FPL contractors from New York. Linemen had to rebuild the much of the electrical infrastructure along Summerlin Avenue. They removed trees and replaced several power poles before they could begin to reconnect power lines.
"The grid is not symmetrical," Gould said. "The grid does know business from residential. It does not know one neighborhood from another. the grid is the grid. it's set in certain ways. It can criss-cross and be in different directions. It can be very possible you can look across the street and you neighbor has power and you don't."
Gould also explained who gets priority.
"We look to make sure our generation facilities are running and they are," said Gould. "Then we shift to the critical infrastructure facilities water treatment, fire stations, police hospital. all critical facilities. If you happen to be on a grid that is served by a hospital chances are your power will come up sooner. Then we go to the feeder lines to make sure those are the main power lines that are feeding the neighborhood lines. We get those up and running. and then we to the individual neighborhoods."
A Duke Energy spokesman told News 6 that it could be up to 10 days before their customers have power again. The company said it must replace nearly 3,000 power poles and 950 miles of wire across Florida.
As of Friday evening, power has been restored for 1,187,173 customers and 206,765 remain without power, a Duke spokesperson said. Sunday night Duke officials estimates most of Central Florida would be back online by midnight, areas of Apopka and DeLand may not receive power until Tuesday.
See an interactive map of power outages below. Hover over your county for updated numbers.
Residents should not touch or try to move downed power lines, Gov. Rick Scott said, but should contact their local utility companies.
Customers can report outages and get updates from the following power companies:
- Duke energy: 1-800-228-8485 or text OUT to 57801
- FPL: 1-800-4-OUTAGE
- OUC: 407-423-9018
- SECO: 1-800-732-6141 or report online.
- KUA: 407-933-9898 or report online.
- PRECO: Text PRECO to 8002823824
- Mount Dora Electric: 352-735-7102
- Ocala Electric Utility: 352-351-6666
- New Smyrna Utilities Commission: Outage information
The governor's office said Scott made it clear that the state's top priorities continue to be getting fuel delivered to gas stations and getting power turned back on for 100 percent of homes and businesses.
"Florida is an incredibly resilient state and now it is time that we come together and rebuild. After visiting shelters this week and talking to people who evacuated due to Hurricane Irma, the No. 1 thing I heard from families is that they want their power back on," Scott said. "We must make sure Floridians have the fuel they need to get home and back to work, and the electricity they need to live their lives. We are making progress on both fronts, but I will not rest until we are 100 percent recovered.
Scott said that while power has been restored to nearly 2 million homes and businesses so far, there is more work that needs to be done.
"I have directed every state resource to help with these issues, and we are working with local officials, public and private utility companies and the federal government to fill gas tanks and turn on the lights," Scott said.
The governor's office provided the following updates:
Florida Power and Light
-FPL has mobilized the largest restoration workforce ever assembled with more than 18,000 out-of-state restoration personnel working around the clock.
-In total, 4.4 million customers were impacted by the storm, officials said. Power has already been restored to 4 million customers as of Sunday afternoon.
-Officials said FPL expects power restoration to be completed for the East Coast the night of Sunday, Sept. 17.
-FPL expects power restoration to be completed for the West Coast by Friday, Sept. 22, officials said.
-More than 12,000 restoration workers have been mobilized to quickly restore power to all customers.
-1.3 million customers were impacted by the storm, officials said. Power has been restored to more than 1.2 million.
-By 11 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 18 – Alachua, Citrus, Hamilton, Hernando, Levy, Marion, Seminole and Sumter counties.
-By 11 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 19 – The severely impacted areas of Hardee, Highlands, Lake, Polk and Volusia counties. Also the northern Orange and Lake County border due to rebuilding the electrical system that suffered significant damage in those areas.
Here are the latest Duke Energy numbers.
County-by-county numbers (as of Tuesday evening)
- Brevard: 70 (0% without power)
- Flagler: 10 (0%)
- Lake: 2,305 (1%)
- Marion: Power was fully restored as of Tuesday evening
- Orange: 3,846 (1%)
- Osceola: Power was fully restored as of Monday morning
- Polk: 4,353 (1%)
- Seminole: 2,800 (1%)
- Sumter: Power was fully restored as of Tuesday morning
- Volusia: 649 (0%)
The governor's office said all three of Florida's major fuel ports -- Port Tampa, Port Everglades and Port Canaveral -- are open and operational. Port of Panama City is also open and operational.
Each port is prioritizing fuel shipments and the Florida Highway Patrol is escorting fuel resupply trucks to gas stations, the governor's office said.
The first fuel tanker arrived at Port Canaveral at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday. The governor's office said the port will continue to receive fuel resupply.
Eleven states have joined Florida in waiving weight and driver restrictions to move goods more quickly into the state, including fuel, the governor's office said. The Jones Act, Florida's gas tax and all weight and driver restrictions continue to be waived to expedite fuel delivery.
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