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FPL Urges Customers to Prioritize Safety, Prepare to be Without Power

Sept. 28, 2022
The company has a restoration workforce of nearly 16,000 men and women, including mutual assistance from 27 states.
Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) urges customers to prepare for widespread power outages over multiple days as Hurricane Ian impacts Florida’s West coast. The company has a restoration workforce of nearly 16,000 men and women, including mutual assistance from 27 states. The team in the field is already restoring power in parts of the service area impacted by feeder bands from this dangerous, damaging and slow-moving storm.

The latest forecast from the National Hurricane Center, issued at 11 a.m., indicates that Hurricane Ian is expected to make landfall along Florida’s west coast as a major hurricane. The path could shift from the current forecast track, and regardless of Ian’s exact landfall, much of FPL’s service area will feel the effects of this powerful storm.

“We urge our customers to not let their guard down, finalize their preparations, prepare for extended outages and make safety their highest priority,” said Eric Silagy, chairman and CEO of FPL. “Beyond damaging wind speeds, Hurricane Ian is poised to bring onshore heavy rains, storm surge and flooding, all of which will create dangerous conditions. Hurricane Ian is expected to slow down and even stall after making landfall, creating treacherous conditions for an extended period of time, which could delay restoration efforts. Please stay safe and rest assured knowing that FPL will be working around the clock to restore power.”

As Ian’s outer bands have begun moving into Florida, FPL has worked to restore power and will continue doing so as long as conditions allow. Even when conditions deteriorate over the coming days, FPL will use smart grid technology to restore power where possible. When winds drop below 35 miles per hour, FPL is able to continue restoration and conduct damage assessments with field crews. These assessments, which include data gathered from a fleet of drones, help the company assign the right crews and right equipment to the right place and give customers a more accurate estimate of when the company will complete restoration in each region.

Depending on Hurricane Ian’s ultimate path and intensity, damage to the electrical infrastructure could be extensive due to severe winds, storm surge, flooding and possible tornados. This damage could require extended repair work, and in extreme cases require parts of the system to be rebuilt. Flooding, fallen structures, debris and other obstacles also can affect the scope and speed of power restoration. Debris and flooding are anticipated to cause restoration challenges. Rain-soaked soil will make trees susceptible to toppling onto power lines and even uproot underground power lines. After waiting for flooding to subside, tree-trimming crews will need to cut away trees and other vegetation before line workers can begin finding and fixing damage.

No system is hurricane-proof, and FPL expects widespread outages. However, improvements made by the company to strengthen the grid since the historic 2004-05 hurricane seasons enable faster restoration times.

What FPL is Doing

FPL is finalizing preparations for the impact of Hurricane Ian:

  • FPL’s restoration workforce is already actively responding to outages caused by feeder bands moving across the state.
  • Restoration personnel, supplies and equipment are pre-positioned on Florida’s west coast to quickly start work as soon as it is safe to do so. Nearly 16,000 restoration personnel are already dedicated to the effort.
  • The company has opened 24 staging, parking and processing sites to help speed restoration.
  • FPL is focused on restoring power safely and as quickly as possible, and the company is asking customers to make safety their top priority as well.

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 information that is accurate more quickly than ever before. FPL will aim to provide its best estimates for when restoration will be completed for 95% of FPL customers affected by the storm in an area approximately 24 hours after the storm has cleared that area, which is the time the company needs to assess damage and deploy the right crews and right equipment.

FPL will share the best, most up-to-date information as quickly as possible through traditional media, social media, FPL.com and the FPL app. 

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