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LCEC, FPL reports on power outages

September 23, 2017
Special to THE CITIZEN ( , Lehigh Acres Citizen

Lee County Electric Cooperative and Florida Power & Light Company have released the following updates regarding power outages following Hurricane Irma.


Most LCEC customers have essentially had their power restored, with the number without power reduced to 3,600, according to officials today.

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Less than 1,000 customers in each of the worst hit areas -

Lehigh Acres, Immokalee, and Everglades City and surrounding areas - are without power this morning. Crews are laser focused on working to restore more customers there, and in other parts of the LCEC service territory, waiting patiently for power.

With most customers essentially restored, the remaining isolated outages are the toughest. These are the locations that could not be restored with a quick fix during the first phase of restoration. Often, these are cases of extensive tree or debris removal, pole, wire, insulator, or transformer replacement, and difficult to access equipment. Once these more time-intensive repairs are completed, customers can expect a quick closing in of the fuse at their location and power.

The repair can result in power restoration for one person or several customers at a time and because they spread out over a five-county service area with 8,000 miles of line it takes time. Approximately 500 crews continue to work on efforts and although specific times for each location are not possible it is certain that work will not slow until all customers have been restored.

Evening thunderstorms on Sept. 22 resulted in outages for several customers who already had power restored after Hurricane Irma. Crews will be dispatched to those areas as soon as possible to restore power again also.


On Sept. 22, Florida Power & Light Company announced that service has been restored to essentially all of its 4.4 million customers who were impacted by Hurricane Irma, 10 days after the massive storm exited its service territory.

Now, with limited work left to clean up in the hardest-hit areas, FPL is releasing the majority of its utility and contract workers who responded from across the country and Canada.

"I cannot thank our customers enough for their patience, support and understanding, particularly those who were without power the longest," Eric Silagy, president and chief executive officer, said. "Hurricane Irma was unprecedented by almost every measure including its size and scope, destructive power and slow movement. Irma's fierce winds, strong storm surge and flooding knocked out power to more than 4.4 million FPL customers, the largest ever in our history. But, we pulled together and completed the fastest restoration of the largest amount of people by any one utility in U.S. history."

Even before Irma exited FPL's service territory, the energy company had restored approximately one million customers, with two million customers restored by the end of the first full day of restoration. The vast majority of customers had their power back on within a week of Irma's passing but as is the case in any major restoration effort of Irma's magnitude, there are some areas where restoration was more difficult and time-consuming.



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