When will power and cellphone services be restored? Patience urged

Elias Hubbard
September 14, 2017

The thousands of people on Florida's East Coast stuck without power should have it restored by this Sunday at the latest, the company Tweeted Tuesday morning. In Broward, 485,860 had no power out of 933,300, and in Palm Beach 386,010 of 739,000 were out. "This will delay restoration times, and customers should be prepared for the possibility of extended power outages". Next the focus will be on restoring power to "the largest number of customers in the shortest amount of time - including service to major thoroughfares that host supermarkets, pharmacies, gas stations and other needed community services".

FPL, the state's largest utility, said its outages dropped to around 1.9 million customers on Wednesday from a peak of more than 3.6 million on Monday.

That's what Gus Beyersdorf, 40, and his colleague Nick Jensen, 32, utility workers from Wisconsin, found out while inspecting power lines in Florida on Monday. It also asked customers to not stop technicians to ask them when service will be restored because it slows down progress.

A South Florida mother is anxious about her teen son amid a power outage caused by Hurricane Irma.

More than 20,000 utilities workers from 30 states and Canada stationed at almost 30 staging sites across the state are assessing damage and restoring power.

"I don't have any family members where they have power that we can go to", said Wilcox.

As for T-Mobile, spokeswoman Kaitlin Craig said Monday morning: "We working as quickly as we can to deploy crews to our sites as it is safe to do so".

Southern Company subsidiary Georgia Power had more than 410,000 customers without power as of Monday morning.

"We are not going to bed here".

That figure was reduced overnight from an estimated 7.2 million people without power, which represent 3.6 million customer accounts, thanks to a mass restoration effort. "We've got roads that are impassable, so everybody's got to be patient as we work through this".

A preliminary assessment of Irma's damage, however, shows damage is not as extensive as originally anticipated - not even on the west coast, which took a direct hit from Irma - FPL representatives said. He said he understands what families are going through.

"Power lines are down throughout the state,"' he said.

More than 60,000 workers from across the United States and Canada were involved in the restoration efforts, including those from the affected companies and other utilities, according to the Edison Electric Institute, an industry trade group.

FPL said after repairing any damage to its power plants and the lines that carry electricity from the generating facilities, the company next restores "critical facilities", like hospitals, police and fire stations, communication facilities, water treatment plants, transportation providers and shelters. Like FPL, it reported that "in some cases, these could be long-duration outages, particularly if energy infrastructure must be rebuilt before power can be restored".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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