FPL Restores Service to Nearly 80% of Customers Affected by Hurricane Ian
Nearly 1.7 million Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) customers – or nearly 80% of those affected by Hurricane Ian – have now been restored as of 5 p.m. today.
As the third full day of restoration continues, FPL is staying focused on restoring power to the remaining 459,000 customers safely and as quickly as possible with a total workforce of more than 21,000 men and women – including mutual assistance from 30 states.
The massive effort is supported by 22 staging and parking sites strategically positioned for the rapid deployment of crews and equipment, which helps restore power faster. The number is down from a peak of 38 because, as FPL completes restoration in some areas, the company shifts resources and zeroes in on the hardest-hit areas.
“Despite Ian’s enormous size, intensity and devastation, our dedicated men and women have been able to overcome a multitude of challenges to bring the power back on for the vast majority of FPL customers. I’m very proud, but we’re not finished,” said Eric Silagy, chairman and CEO of FPL. “The days ahead will be challenging, but we know how difficult it is to be without power. Our customers are counting on us, and we will not stop until every customer has their lights back on.”
In the wake of a hurricane, FPL knows customers need as much information as possible in order to make decisions for their families. Every hurricane is different, but FPL’s goal is to provide customers more accurate information faster than ever before.
Some homes and businesses may have suffered damage that makes them unable to safely accept power. Customers who notice damage need to contact a licensed electrician prior to power being restored. FPL continues to work closely with emergency responders and emergency management officials to safely energize areas that can receive power.
In addition to the crews working around the clock to restore power, damage assessment teams simultaneously rolled out across the state to determine the extent of the damage, particularly in the inaccessible portions of Southwest Florida and Volusia County. Ground assessment has proved challenging due to flooding and major road closures, but technologies like FPLAir One – the company’s fixed-wing drone which took to the skies again today – provide critical intelligence to put the right crews and the right equipment in the right places to restore power safely and as quickly as possible. FPL has also found new ways to survey damage – from riding airboats through DeSoto County to even deploying a kayak in Volusia County to put eyes inside a flooded substation.
“The resourcefulness and ingenuity displayed by our employees and all first responders throughout this challenging restoration has been awe-inspiring,” Silagy said. “I couldn’t be prouder of their commitment to restoring a sense of normalcy to our state and our communities.”
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 have 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.
Immediately after a storm, FPL knows if main power lines have been damaged. If customers believe their power is out for this reason, there is no need to contact FPL. Customers should call 911 or FPL at 1-800-4OUTAGE (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/Outage or on the FPL app.