JUNO BEACH, Fla. – Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) has mobilized its restoration workforce in response to Tropical Storm Eta and is working to restore service safely and as quickly as possible to customers on Florida’s west coast. The area is already experiencing severe weather from the outer bands of the storm, as tropical-storm winds extend nearly 120 miles from the center. The worst of the storm is expected to come later today and overnight.
“As this strong tropical storm turns and once again takes aim at our state, our dedicated men and women are ready to respond and be there for our customers when they need us the most,” said Eric Silagy, president and CEO of FPL. “Crews are already responding to outages caused by Eta’s outer bands and they won’t stop until power is restored.”
Approximately 9,000 personnel are responding to this storm, including many hardworking men and women who were just restoring service in South Florida. After dealing with severe flooding and vegetation challenges, the team is now redeploying to the west coast, as well as the north and central Florida regions.
Lee Hubbs, an incident commander who has been with the company for nearly 40 years, is among those headed to the west coast, where he will lead crews responding to outages in the Sarasota area.
“Eta is a powerful storm that caused severe flooding, and heavy winds blew debris and trees into our equipment throughout South Florida,” said Hubbs. “We quickly shifted gears and mobilized to respond to outages along Florida’s west coast. There is no doubt, this has been a challenging hurricane season, but we are prepared and will work safely and as quickly as possible to get everyone’s lights back on.”
Customers are urged to prepare for potential outages. In some areas, customers could experience more than one outage as weather bands move through. The storm is expected to affect the west coast and other regions, including central and north Florida as it moves across the state over the next day.
Heavy rains, flooding, high winds and possible tornadoes may cause falling trees and flying debris, creating restoration challenges and longer outages. In areas impacted by flooding, crews must wait for the flood waters to recede before they are able to access equipment and restore power. Following severe weather, crews must cut away trees and other vegetation that have fallen into power lines, or that are in the way, to find and fix damage safely and as quickly as possible.
Responding to COVID-19
In response to the global coronavirus pandemic, our plan includes many precautionary measures for the safety of our customers and our restoration workforce. This includes daily health screenings for restoration personnel and adjusting the layout of staging sites where large numbers of restoration workers gather to allow for as much social distancing as possible and adding more micro-staging sites.
What we’re doing
At FPL, we’ve finalized preparations for the impact of Eta:
- We have a workforce of approximately 9,000 dedicated to restoring power.
- We have reallocated additional resources within the company to help speed the restoration effort.
- We’ve moved and are preparing to reposition our crews at nine staging and logistics sites in the west coast and north Florida regions to speed restoration, including the Sarasota Airport, the Daytona International Speedway and the St. John’s County Fairgrounds.
- We are coordinating our response with county and state emergency operations centers.
Customers should heed warnings and evacuation orders by local, state and federal elected officials. Don’t venture out in the dark, because you might not see a downed power line that could be energized and dangerous. Also, avoid standing water and debris. Preparation and safety tips are available at FPL.com/Storm.
Customers can download the FPL app for on-the-go, instant and secure access to their accounts. Customers can report or get the latest information on an outage. The app is available for download in the iOS App Store and Google Play. To quickly download the FPL app, text the word “App” to MyFPL (69375).
How to stay 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 largest energy company in the United States as measured by retail electricity produced and sold, serving more than 5.1 million customer accounts or an estimated 10 million+ people across the state of Florida. FPL’s typical 1,000-kWh residential customer bill is approximately 30% lower than the latest national average and among the lowest in the U.S. FPL’s service reliability is better than 99.98%, and its highly fuel-efficient power plant fleet is one of the cleanest among all electric companies nationwide. The company was recognized in 2020 as one of the most trusted U.S. electric utilities by Escalent for the seventh consecutive year. A leading Florida employer with approximately 8,900 employees, FPL is a subsidiary of Juno Beach, Florida-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 2020 list of “World’s Most Admired Companies.” NextEra Energy is also the parent company of Gulf Power Company, which serves approximately 470,000 customers in eight counties throughout northwest Florida, and NextEra Energy Resources, LLC, which, together with its affiliated entities, is the world’s largest generator of renewable energy from the wind and sun and a world leader in battery storage. For more information about NextEra Energy companies, visit these websites: www.NextEraEnergy.com, www.FPL.com, www.GulfPower.com, www.NextEraEnergyResources.com