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17 September 2017, 06:25 | Regina Holmes
Irma Slams the Caribbean Blacking Out Puerto Rico
Florida Power & Light, owned by NextEra Energy Inc (NEE.N) and the state's biggest electric company, said it was working aggressively to restore power to the 23 percent of its customers still in the dark.
Customers who lost electricity on the eastern side of the state will likely have power restored by the end of this weekend, Florida Power & Light said.
About 216,000 homes and businesses in Sarasota, Charlotte and Manatee counties were without power Tuesday evening, and power had been restored at almost 249,000.
"We know our customers are incredibly frustrated and simply want their power back on", Eric Silagy, chief executive of the state's largest utility, said in a statement.
Some customers on Florida's west coast might not have service restored until September 22, the utility told the News. In Puerto Rico, hundreds of thousands of people remain without power.
"When you think of the incredible power of that storm, and while people unfortunately passed, it was such a small number", Trump said. The restoration workers truly appreciate this courtesy, as they work long hours to get the power back on for all affected customers.
Millions of Floridians grappled with the aftermath of Hurricane Irma on Tuesday, confronting a daunting, uncomfortable reality. "We could have power down in homes for the coming weeks".
While acknowledging the public's frustration, utility officials said they are getting power back on faster than they did after Hurricane Wilma hit the state 12 years ago.
The utilities said the storm was unusually destructive because it hit all areas of the state.
Meanwhile, roughly 6.4 million people in the state remained without power as of Wednesday afternoon, down from 13 million.
Ninety percent of the homes on the islands were destroyed or damaged.
Irma affected all of Georgia and Florida, which is complicating recovery efforts due to the widespread nature of the damage.
Journeyman lineman AJ Parker, 28, said he left his 6-day-old daughter, Elsabeth Claire, and her mother in Tennessee last month to help fix high-power transmission lines in Texas towns devastated by Hurricane Harvey.
In Jacksonville, the city tucked along Florida's northeast coast that sustained historic flooding as the St. Johns River swelled, the sheriff's office said Tuesday mandatory evacuation orders have been lifted. "You have to get creative in a situation like this, " she said.
Tropical Storm Jose also is threatening to regain strength Friday and potentially could cause strong rip currents along the U.S. East Coast as it continues to make its way north in the Atlantic.
For customers using electric generators, FPL advised residents to set them up outside, away from all open windows, to prevent deadly exhaust from entering a home.
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