JUNO BEACH, Fla., Oct. 7, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) today announced that as of 10 p.m., it has restored service to nearly 650,000 customers since Hurricane Matthew began impacting Florida.
"As we saw with this storm, Mother Nature is unpredictable. While we are lucky that Matthew did not make landfall in Florida, approximately 1.2 million FPL customers were impacted by this deadly and dangerous storm," said Eric Silagy, president and CEO of FPL. "We have made significant progress restoring power to our customers in the southern and western parts of the state, and we won't stop working around the clock until everyone's lights are back on."
FPL's restoration workforce of more than 15,000 including FPL employees, along with workers from contracting companies and our partner utilities from across the country, have restored service to nearly 650,000 customers in between bands of severe weather and throughout the day.
FPL has invested more than $2 billion since 2006 to build a stronger, smarter and more storm-resilient energy grid that allows us to restore power much faster than ever before.
"FPL's investments in the electric grid over the past decade are making a difference for our customers," said Silagy. "Based on our grid's performance thus far, we are seeing fewer outages and faster restoration times. And, for our customers who remain without power this evening, we continue to aggressively work to get their lights back on."
Based on the current assessment and resources dedicated to the restoration, FPL expects to complete power restoration to essentially all customers following Hurricane Matthew by end of day Sunday; however, pockets of flooding and severe damage likely will extend outages for some customers until end of day Monday.
FPL continues to remind its customers of the need to be cautious before, during and after any storm. Stay away from flooded areas and debris, and stay alert to and away from downed power lines, which could be energized and dangerous. Importantly, treat highway intersections as four-way stops where stop lights are out of service due to a loss of power.
Immediately after a storm, we know if main power lines have been damaged. If customers believe their power is out for this reason, there is no need to contact us. Customers should call 911 and 1-800-4-OUTAGE (1-800-468-8243) only to report dangerous situations such as downed power lines or sparking electrical equipment. Customers can report an outage at FPL.com.
Please stay safe
Even when winds have subsided, you still may encounter dangerous conditions. We urge customers in stormy and flooded areas to take the following safety precautions:
- Stay far away from downed power lines, flooding and debris; lines could be energized and dangerous.
- Use caution while driving. Power interruptions may cause traffic signals to stop working without warning. If you come to an intersection with a non-working traffic signal, Florida law requires that you treat it as a four-way stop.
- If using a portable generator:
- Follow the manufacturer's recommendations for proper use;
- Plug appliances directly into the generator, not into the main electric panel, because the electricity may flow back into power lines and cause injuries;
- Only a licensed electrician should connect a generator to a main electric panel;
- Never operate a generator inside your home or garage; and
- Keep generators well away from open windows to prevent dangerous fumes from entering your home or a neighbor's home.
- Ensure that all electric appliances, especially ovens and stoves, are turned off to prevent fires.
- When working on a ladder, look up and note the location of power lines before you begin. Be sure that ladders or scaffolds are far enough away so that you – and the ends of the tools you're using – stay at least 10 feet away from power lines. Before lowering a TV antenna or satellite dish, be sure to turn off and unplug the TV.
Visit FPL.com for additional safety tips.
How we restore power
We don't restore power based on when customers report an outage, where customers live or the status of accounts. Rather, we begin in multiple locations and follow an overall plan that calls for restoring power to the largest number of customers safely and as quickly as possible:
- We start by repairing any damage to our power plants and the power lines that carry electricity from our plants to the local substations.
- We prioritize restoring power to critical facilities, such as hospitals, police and fire stations, communication facilities, water treatment plants and transportation providers.
- At the same time, we work to return service to the largest number of customers in the shortest amount of time − including service to major thoroughfares that host supermarkets, pharmacies, gas stations and other needed community services.
- From here, we repair the infrastructure serving smaller groups and neighborhoods, converging on the hardest-hit areas until every customer's power is restored.
Why restoration times may differ within a neighborhood
If you see a crew passing but not stopping, it may be because work must be performed at a nearby location before electric service can be restored to your home. In many instances, a single street is served by two different main power lines and even different substations. In some instances, your neighbor may have power because that home may be served by a power line or substation that has not been affected while the power line or substation serving your home is damaged.
We are committed to keeping you informed
FPL communicates restoration information to customers frequently through the news media and the following resources:
Florida Power & Light Company
Florida Power & Light Company is the third-largest electric utility in the United States, serving more than 4.8 million customer accounts or more than 10 million people across nearly half of the state of Florida. FPL's typical 1,000-kWh residential customer bill is approximately 30 percent lower than the latest national average and, in 2015, was the lowest in Florida among reporting utilities for the sixth year in a row. FPL's service reliability is better than 99.98 percent, and its highly fuel-efficient power plant fleet is one of the cleanest among all utilities nationwide. The company received the top ranking in the southern U.S. among large electric providers, according to the J.D. Power 2016 Electric Utility Residential Customer Satisfaction StudySM, and was recognized in 2016 as one of the most trusted U.S. electric utilities by Market Strategies International. A leading Florida employer with approximately 8,800 employees, FPL is a subsidiary of Juno Beach, Fla.-based NextEra Energy, Inc. (NYSE: NEE), a clean energy company widely recognized for its efforts in sustainability, ethics and diversity, and has been ranked No. 1 in the electric and gas utilities industry in Fortune's 2016 list of "World's Most Admired Companies." NextEra Energy is also the parent company of NextEra Energy Resources, LLC, which, together with its affiliated entities, is the world's largest generator of renewable energy from the wind and sun. For more information about NextEra Energy companies, visit these websites: www.NextEraEnergy.com, www.FPL.com, www.NextEraEnergyResources.com.
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SOURCE Florida Power & Light Company
For further information: Florida Power & Light Company, Media Line: 561-694-4442, @FPL_Newsroom