Power restored to more than 1 million FPL customers after Hurricane Ian exits Florida

Published on September 30, 2022 by Liz Carey

© Shutterstock

Florida Power and Light Company said on Thursday it had restored power to more than one million customers, just over half of those who lost power as a result of Hurricane Ian.

One of the most powerful hurricanes to hit Florida, Ian battered the Panhandle State for more than 72 hours, unleashing catastrophic winds, unprecedented storm surge and numerous tornadoes. According to the Edison Electric Institute, a total of 2.7 million Floridians lost power. As of 9 a.m. Friday, EEI estimated 1.9 million customers were still without power. More than 44,000 workers from 33 states and the District of Columbia are in the state working to restore power, EEI said Friday morning.

FPL said 2 million of its customers were affected by the storm, and as of 7 a.m. Thursday, 980,740 were without power. Priority was given to restoring power to critical infrastructure functions such as hospitals and 911 centers.

“Hurricane Ian will go down as one of the most destructive and powerful hurricanes to ever hit our state – having forever changed the lives of so many of our neighbors,” said Eric Silagy, chairman and CEO of FPL. “Getting the lights back on after such a destructive storm is no small task, but it’s a challenge we’ve planned and trained for with an army of workers. Rest assured; we will not stop until every last customer is restored.”

Crews are also working to assess the extent of damages to FPL’s service area. FPLAir One, the company’s fixed-wing drone, was scheduled to fly its first mission on Thursday to check for damages in communities throughout Southwest Florida that are not accessible. Initial assessments indicate that FPL’s transmission system carrying high-voltage electricity from power plants to substations survived without losing a single transmission structure, the company said.

“Since the destructive 2004 and 2005 hurricane seasons, we’ve invested significantly in our system to make it stronger, smarter and more resilient to storms like Hurricane Ian,” Silagy said. “While no energy grid is hurricane-proof, not losing a single transmission structure is remarkable given the size and strength of this monster storm.”