According to the South Florida Business Journal, Florida Power & Light expects that by the end of the coming weekend, it will have restored power to all of its customers on the East Coast of the Sunshine State, with the exception of homes and businesses that caught the most severe damage from Hurricane Irma.
On the West Coast of the state, everyone is expected to have power by Sept. 22.
FPL said at a Tuesday media conference that its army of restoration workers had grown to 20,000 people from the Keys up to Georgia who are trying to bring back power to all 5 million who lost electricity during Irma.
On Monday, the company, owned by Juno Beach-based NextEra Energy Inc. (NYSE: NEE), had turned the lights back on for about 40 percent of its home and business customers.
The company said that in as many days after Hurricane Wilma hit South Florida in 2005, just 4 percent of outages had been restored. FPL says its recent $3 billion in infrastructure investment, including replacing wooden poles with concrete poles, expedited its storm response 12 years later. Wilma had impacted just 21 counties FPL serviced, while Irma impacted all 35.
Restorations for important buildings like hospitals will take priority over heavily populated areas, which will take priority over less populated neighborhoods, the company said. The homes and businesses that may not get power by the expected delivery date are properties damaged by tornados or severe flooding.
“We’re asking for your patience,” said FPL Chief Communications Officer Rob Gould during the media conference.