An Inside Look: How We’re Restoring after Hurricane Irma
As president and CEO of FPL, I take my responsibility to ensuring we’re there when you need us most. With that in mind, I’ll be sharing some updates with you so that you have an understanding as to how our crews are restoring and rebuilding power across our service territory in the wake of Hurricane Irma.
First, our commitment to you is clear – work safely and as quickly as possible, every hour of every day to make your home feel like home again. We have an army of more than 20,000 FPL employees and workers from partner utilities and electrical contracting companies from nearly 30 states and Canada.
While this is the worst storm our company has faced, rest assured we were ready, having pre-positioned the largest restoration workforce not just in our company’s history but in U.S. history.
Unfortunately, 4.4 million of you have been impacted by Hurricane Irma, and some of you likely have experienced more than one outage during this deadly and destructive storm. As of this evening, nearly 2 million of you have your lights back on. While we’ve made progress, that rings hollow to those of you still in the dark.
We understand how important it is for you to know when your power will be restored so that you can plan for your families and businesses. We have completed our preliminary assessments of the damage and estimate that we will restore power to essentially all of you who live and work along our east coast service territory by the end of this coming weekend. And for those of you who call the west coast home, we expect to restore power to essentially all of you by end of day, Sept. 22, with the possible exception in both cases of areas impacted by tornadoes, severe flooding and other sections of severe damage.
Yesterday, I reached out to many of your elected officials to let them know of my personal commitment to doing what it takes to get your power back on. Today, I met with local, state and other elected officials in the Miami and Naples area to explain FPL’s efforts to restore and rebuild. I shared with them that restoration has begun in multiple locations and follows an overall proven plan that calls for getting power to the largest number of customers safely and as quickly as possible. Here’s more insight into how we restore power. In the coming days, I will continue to meet with as many officials I can to explain our restoration process.
I also visited a work site where we are restoring power to a main power line that feeds a water treatment plant and a shopping center. I saw how one of our wooden poles was damaged – likely due to high winds or possible tornado activity. Next, I headed to one of our nearly 30 staging sites, at Zoo Miami, where I thanked the members of our restoration team for taking time away from their families to help restore power. I fully intend to be in the field each day from here on out to ensure I’m closest to the restoration effort, and in so doing, having an appreciation for the extremely challenging conditions many of you and your families are facing.
During the tough days and weeks ahead, I strongly urge each of you to continue to take precautions and be safe as we work to help return your live to normal. We will work around the clock until each and every one of you affected by Irma has your power restored.
Thank you so very much for your patience and understanding.