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Restoring power to Florida will take 'weeks, not days' in some areas

Restoring power to Florida will take 'weeks, not days' in some areas

RIVIERA BEACH - Millions of Florida Power & Light Co. customers left in the dark following Hurricane Irma could have their lights back on as early as this weekend.

As of Tuesday afternoon, FPL's website showed 183,100 of its 210,700 Collier County customers were still without power.

Florida's Division of Emergency Management reported Tuesday morning that 4.9 million customers didn't have electricity. In Broward, 485,860 had no power out of 933,300, and in Palm Beach 386,010 of 739,000 were out.

"Cycling the breakers is stupid when you can see all in the area and you know nobody has power", said Franklin, who submitted a new outage claim.

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FPL will continue to communicate restoration information through the media and online via, Facebook and Twitter. "Give us a little time".

"Then we go after the feeders that feed the most amount of customers along those lines, regardless of whether it's a home or a business", he said.

"Exceptions being areas where we've seen tornadic damage, severe flooding or other pockets of severe damage that you're invariably going to have in these types of events", Gould said. FPL is receiving support from utilities and other companies from almost 30 states and Canada.

According to Florida Power & Light, out of a total of 86,800 customers the utility company serves across the county, 84,950 had been affected by the storm. FPL has crews from as far away as Canada and California.

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"Most of the outages we are seeing is a result of debris and vegetation that is blowing into our lines", Gould said.

"I mean, without the power, all these generators running all day long - it's a little nerve-wracking", said another concerned resident, Juan Carlos. "As crews respond to make repairs and restore service, specific estimated times of restoration will be updated for individual areas and customers. Traffic lights are out, trees and fences down, no gas for miles and no electricity", she emailed to the Miami Herald.

If in doubt, FPL workers will always carry personal identification and have FPL logos on their trucks. If work is completed on one of the main lines but not the other, it's possible for some neighbors to have power while other neighbors do not.

FPL said it would first fix any damage to power plants, transmissions lines and substations, then prioritize critical facilities like hospitals and water treatment plants. FPL has activated 30 staging sites, each a mini-city to support and supply its workers.

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Limited service has now resumed at several of Florida's airports, including at Miami International. The estimated damage in the U.S. is greater than the damage caused by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.