FPL says power restoration will be slow, but steady

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Florida Power & Light Company, which provides power to an estimated 4.9 million accounts across the state, had about 3.5 million customers without electricity as of Monday afternoon, said Rob Gould, vice president and chief communications officer at FPL.

The company has 20,000 technicians drawn in from more than 30 states and Canada working around the clock to restore power to Floridians. FPL lost power at its Riviera Center command center on Sunday - in the midst of a press conference - and was relying on backup generators on Monday.

Fort Lauderdale and New York: When more than 7.4 million homes and businesses are without power after a hurricane, utility workers tend to get noticed a bit more than usual.

As the storm moved to Atlanta Monday, it caused outages for more than a million customers across Georgia. Palm Beach County has 523,540 customers without power, or 70 percent of its accounts, and Broward County had 643,890 outages, or 68 percent of its accounts.

"We're continuing to assess the damage", Contesse said.

Putnam County, which consists of both FPL and Clay Electric customers, continues to suffer from extensive power outages, as well.

FPL has about 17,000 utility workers ready to help its restoration efforts, which could be significant.

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FPL has only been providing outage information at the county level and a media relations spokesperson said it is not able to give outages by areas at this time. Ed Devarona, senior director of emergency preparedness, told USA Today that the utility expects it may need to rebuild much of its Gulf Coast infrastructure, from downed poles and transformers to entire substations.

FP&L urged customers to not report outages to the company, because its "smart grid" technology alerts them to all outages instantly.

Flooded streets and ripped roofs can be seen above the Holiday Manor neighborhood in East Naples following Hurricane Irma.

"Certainly, if you are a customer on a feeder line that feeds a hospital, more than likely you are going to have service restored to you before others", Gould said.

The remaining reactor was shut down Saturday when Category 1 hurricane-force winds were predicted in the area.

At Gulf Power, a Southern Co. unit that serves just over 455,000 in northwest Florida, spokesman Rick DelaHaya said Monday that the brunt of Irma was just starting to arrive in that region.

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