- Power companies say close to 95 percent or more customers should be fully restored by Friday
- Florida Municipal Electric Association says it already has 98% of affected customers restored
- FPL says they will have 95% of their customers back up two days ahead of schedule
- However, some flooded zones cannot safely get power until the water subsides
- FPL says neighborhood underground power lines in the storm zone performed 5 times better than neighborhood overhead lines
More than 2 million customers have had power restored in the wake of Hurricane Ian, with about 500,000 customers expected to get power back this week, power companies say. The Florida Municipal Electric Association said in a release that it already has restored power to 98 percent of customers who experienced outages following the hurricane. A spokeswoman for the group said all customers capable of accepting electricity service should be restored no later than Wednesday morning.
Florida Power & Light (FPL), which faced the largest number of customers in the storm’s path, updated its timetable for when power will be restored to parts of Southwest Florida, saying that repairs to 95% of customers will be complete on Friday, two days earlier than originally forecast.
As of 11 a.m. today, FPL said its workforce of more than 21,000 men and women — with assistance from 30 states — had restored electricity to 1.8 million affected customers, or 83% in several areas of the state who were impacted by Hurricane Ian. The company also noted in an update that neighborhoods in the storm’s path with buried power lines performed about five times better than communities with overhead power lines. FPL also said that no generation facilities were damaged by the storm.
The company noted that it will now turn its focus to restoring power to the remaining 369,000 FPL customers, redirecting more crews and equipment to the hardest-hit areas of Southwest Florida and Volusia County.
The heavy lifting is currently supported by 18 staging and parking sites strategically positioned for the rapid deployment of crews and equipment to help restore power faster. The number is down from a peak of 38 because, as FPL completes restoration in some areas, the company shifts resources and zeroes in on the hardest-hit areas.
“Finishing our restoration sooner will allow us to free up resources to help others in the state,” said Eric Silagy, chairman and CEO of FPL. “I want to thank our brave men and women who’ve worked around the clock to accelerate our timeline and who continue to go to great lengths to restore a sense of normalcy to the state and our communities. Now that our workforce has energized the majority of main power lines – the arteries of the electrical system – we are fanning out into communities and neighborhoods, and we will not stop until everyone’s power is restored.”
According to FPL, 95% of customers in northern Manatee County, Seminole County, and Volusia County can expect to have power back by Tuesday.
Another 95% of customers in southern Manatee County, Sarasota County, and Collier County can expect to have their power restored by Wednesday.
Additionally, customers in Charlotte, DeSoto, Glades, Hendry, Highlands, Lee, and Sarasota Counties are forecast to have power restored by Friday.
This story has been corrected. A previous version of this story inaccurately said that 98 percent of Florida Municipal Electric Association customers would be restored later this week. In fact, FMEC surpassed that milestone on Monday.