FPL says power restoration will be slow, but steady

Stephanie Reeves hands out fish at Kretch's on Marco Island Fla. Tuesday Sept. 12 2017. Kretch's and CJ's teamed up to feed hot meals to those without power after Hurricane Irma

Stephanie Reeves hands out fish at Kretch's on Marco Island Fla. Tuesday Sept. 12 2017. Kretch's and CJ's teamed up to feed hot meals to those without power after Hurricane Irma

"What we think we'll see on the west coast is a wholesale rebuild of our electric grid", Robert Gould, Florida Power & Light's (FPL) Vice President and Chief Communications Officer, told ABC News. "As part of this partnership, Gulf Power line crews provide assistance to other utilities when service to their customers is interrupted due to severe weather, and have traveled as far away as NY to assist with restoration following Superstorm Sandy", said Rogers. In Broward, 448,750 had no power out of 933,300, and in Palm Beach 361,140 of 739,000 were out.

Across the country, only about 20 percent of USA power lines are underground, the Energy Information Agency reports. "There never were. We're ready to generate power".

Irma was downgraded to a tropical storm on Monday, but is still expected to bring damaging winds and flooding rain as it passes across Georgia toward Alabama and Carolinas.

Severe flooding and storm surge can also put the grid out of commision after storms, according to NPR. "That will take weeks".

Power is coming back throughout the county based on priority, Harmer said.

Residents who live near police stations, fire departments and hospitals may see their service restored more quickly than others. It has been 18 hours since Irma left our system. "After we take care of everyone right here at home, we are prepared to send more than 100 personnel to assist with power grid rebuilding and restoration in the southeast", said Rick DelaHaya, Gulf Power spokesperson.

An army of 19,500 workers, including crews from other utilities outside the state, are working for FPL to get power back to its customers in 35 counties, literally every county it operates in. We are running out of food and generator gas is gone. The St Lucie plant kept both of its units running for the duration, although the Nuclear Regulatory Commission reported Monday that Unit 1 was reducing power output to deal with salt buildup - likely from wind-blown seawater - on insulators in the switchyard that supplies its offsite power.

Gulf Power's storm center serves as an emergency operations center during hurricanes and is built to withstand a Category 5 hurricane with winds up to 200 miles per hour.

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