Alabama Power busy helping neighbors in Georgia after massive Irma outages

Cheryl Sanders
September 17, 2017

Florida Power & Light Co. says power restoration is moving faster than expected in Southwest Florida and should be completed several days earlier than originally projected.

In Georgia, utilities reported around 1.2 million customers without power Tuesday morning, down from a peak of more than 1.4 million on Monday night.

FPL committed to restore power to all of its East Coast customers by the end of Sunday.

When people in Georgia or Florida who had been left in the dark by Hurricane Irma rejoice as their power is restored, some of them will be able to thank crews from the High Point Electric Utilities Department.

Duke Energy Florida had about 371,000 outages, while electric cooperatives had more than 323,000.

Hurricane Irma knocked out power to millions of Florida customers, including 9,600 in Palm Beach - essentially the entire town.

According to Florida Power & Light, out of a total of 86,800 customers the utility company serves across the county, 84,950 had been affected by the storm. The restoration workers truly appreciate this courtesy, as they work long hours to get the power back on for all affected customers. More than 118,500 customers had been restored by Friday morning - 19 percent of its service - but 33,000 were still out of power. "If you are still without power, we want you to know we are coming".

The number of Atlanta customers without power has continued to drop as the utilities re-routed power and brought in additional crews from as far away as Canada to fix damage.

"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. Never touch any downed or low-hanging wire, including telephone or cable wires that touch a power line. Officials said 115 people have been evacuated to other facilities and additional residents were in process of being evacuated.

Irma also broke records at FPL, which had almost 4 million of FPL's 4.90 million customers affected by outages. 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. "That said, we train for this year-round and we are better prepared for hurricanes now than at any time in our company's history".

Meanwhile, roughly 6.4 million people in the state remained without power as of Wednesday afternoon, down from 13 million. The company can not, by law, connect power to a damaged meter box, or other non-Georgia Power components, and property owners should contact a qualified electrician to make repairs in order for the company to reconnect service.

Florida Power and Light said it has mobilized the largest workforce it has ever assembled to get power restored to its Florida: 21,500.

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