JUNO BEACH, Fla. – Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) has restored power to essentially all of its more than 2.1 million customers who were impacted by Hurricane Ian, eight days after the high-end Category 4 storm exited Florida.
With limited work remaining in the most storm-battered areas of Southwest Florida, FPL continues to release portions of its workforce of 21,000 men and women – including mutual assistance from 30 states. Some members of FPL’s restoration workforce were released to assist Lee County Electric Cooperative with its restoration effort in Southwest Florida.
“I want to thank our customers for their patience and understanding throughout our restoration process,” said Eric Silagy, chairman and CEO of FPL. “Hurricane Ian was a life-altering storm for so many of our fellow Floridians and one we won’t soon forget. Getting the lights back on is a major step in what is sure to be a long road to recovery for many of our communities. I also want to extend my sincere gratitude to the FPL team and to the men and women from around the country who came together in mutual assistance to support this massive restoration. Though our restoration is largely complete, we remain as focused as ever on getting the lights back on for our last-remaining customers who can safely receive service.”
Even before Hurricane Ian made landfall as a high-end Category 4 storm, with 150 mph winds, unprecedented storm surge and flooding, FPL had gathered a veritable army of men and women from around the country. Damage assessment, tree-trimming and restoration teams have been working around the clock to restore power to every home and business that could safely receive it.
Damage to customer-owned electrical equipment
Restoration is now essentially complete, but thousands of homes and businesses have been so badly damaged that they cannot safely receive electric service. In the hardest-hit areas, FPL will continue conducting restoration work in concert with emergency officials, energizing homes and businesses once it is safe to do so. Some customers may need to contact a licensed electrician to repair damaged, customer-owned electrical equipment, including meter enclosures and weatherheads in order to safely receive power.
FPL is making financial assistance available through the company’s Care to Share® program for eligible customers who need repairs on damaged meter enclosures and weatherheads before they can safely receive power. FPL’s Care to Share program is made possible by the generosity of FPL employees, shareholders and customers who donate to help individuals and families who are experiencing temporary difficulties. Eligible customers in need of repairs for damaged meter cans and weatherheads in order to safely receive power can apply for financial assistance up to $1,000 at FPL.com/help, under the Apply for Hurricane Ian repairs section. Customers who want to support hurricane victims can also visit FPL.com/help to contribute to Care to Share.
Customers in areas where power has already been restored may experience outages over the coming days, weeks and months due to weakened trees and branches that could fall, impacting power lines and electric equipment. FPL will continue working around the clock to restore power in these instances as the company brings its system back to its pre-storm state.
“Hurricanes are a devastating force of nature and the repercussions can continue even after a storm has passed,” said Silagy. “Salt contamination along the coastline and significant wind gusts can loosen electrical connections, which may lead to further outages following our restoration efforts. But rest assured, our crews will continue to respond as these outages are identified.”
Storm-hardened system benefits customers during Hurricane Ian
For nearly two decades, FPL has invested significantly in building a stronger, smarter and more storm-resilient energy grid. While no energy grid is hurricane-proof, detailed assessments following Hurricane Ian confirmed the resiliency of FPL’s storm-hardened energy grid:
- FPL’s power generating facilities: Even given the unprecedented devastation caused by Hurricane Ian, no significant structural damage occurred at any FPL power plant.
- FPL’s transmission system: The backbone of any electrical system, transmission lines carry high-voltage electricity from power plants to substations. FPL did not lose a single transmission structure during Hurricane Ian.
- Underground power lines: FPL is working to systematically underground neighborhood power lines, which are traditionally located in backyards and susceptible to trees and other wind-blown debris. Initial forensics show existing underground neighborhood power lines performed five times better than existing overhead neighborhood power lines in Southwest Florida, which took a direct hit from the high-end, Category 4 storm.
- Smart grid technology: The tens of thousands of smart grid devices installed along FPL’s energy grid helped the company restore service to customers before it was safe to send crews into the field and helped to avoid more than 400,000 customer outages during Hurricane Ian.
In addition to smart grid technology, FPL also continued its use of drones during hurricane restorations. During Hurricane Ian, FPL conducted more than 1,900 drone flights – including the debut of FPLAir One, the company’s fixed-wing drone.
Be certain your home or business is ready to receive power
Some homes and businesses may have suffered damage that makes them unable to safely accept power. If the power is on next door but yours is not, make certain that your home or business is ready to receive it by checking the connection to FPL.
- Look at the meter, the box that holds it and connected pipes and wires on the wall of the building.
- If the meter box, pipes or wires are bent or broken, repairs may be needed before FPL can restore power. If it looks damaged, contact a licensed electrician. Do not touch damaged equipment.
- If the meter itself is damaged, restoration personnel will replace it.
If your home has water damage from leaks or flooding, water may come into contact with electrical wiring:
- Use caution when disconnecting electric appliances that are still plugged in. Don’t stand in water when operating switches, plugging in or unplugging electrical cords.
- If you have any doubts about your home's electric system or are unsure of how to proceed, call a professional, licensed electrician.
- In a flooded home, battery-powered lighting is the safest lighting source. Use flashlights when inspecting a home for possible damage.
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). Customers also can sign up for storm updates by texting the word “Join” to MyFPL (69375).
How to stay informed
FPL communicates restoration information to customers frequently through the news media and the following resources:
- FPL website: FPL.com
- Twitter: twitter.com/insideFPL
- Facebook: facebook.com/FPLconnect
- FPL Power Tracker: FPL.com/powertracker
- FPL Power Tracker (Northwest Florida): FPL.com/mypowertracker
- FPL app: Download from the App Store or Google Play, or text the word “App” to MyFPL (69375)
Florida Power & Light Company
As America’s largest electric utility, Florida Power & Light Company serves more customers and sells more power than any other utility, providing clean, affordable, reliable electricity to approximately 5.8 million accounts, or more than 12 million people. FPL operates one of the cleanest power generation fleets in the U.S. and in 2021 won the ReliabilityOne® National Reliability Award for the sixth time in the last seven years. The company received the top ranking in the southern U.S. among large electric providers, according to J.D. Power’s 2021 Electric Utility Residential Customer Satisfaction StudySM and 2021 Electric Utility Business Customer Satisfaction StudySM. The company was also recognized in 2020 as one of the most trusted U.S. electric utilities by Escalent for the seventh consecutive year. 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, corporate responsibility, ethics and compliance, and diversity. NextEra Energy is ranked No. 1 in the electric and gas utilities industry in Fortune’s 2022 list of “World’s Most Admired Companies” and recognized on Fortune’s 2021 list of companies that “Change the World.” 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 and a world leader in battery storage. For more information about NextEra Energy companies, visit these websites: www.NextEraEnergy.com, www.FPL.com, www.NextEraEnergyResources.com.