Florida Power & Light Co. said as of 8 a.m., about 475,000 customers affected by Hurricane Matthew remain without electricity and the company expects more outages as Matthew remains a threat to more than 1 million customers throughout Central and North Florida.
"While we are fortunate that Matthew has yet to make landfall in Florida, we still have a deadly category 3 hurricane a few miles offshore, and at this point in the restoration process, it would appear the investments we've made during the past decade to make the electric grid stronger and smarter are making a difference for our customers," said Eric Silagy, president and CEO of FPL. "Based on our grid's performance thus far, we are seeing fewer outages and faster restoration times.
"That said we still have more than 1 million of our customers in harm's way," said Silagy. "As we continue to make progress in South Florida, we will be collapsing our resources into the central and northern parts of our service area, aggressively attacking outages when and where it is safe to do so. We sincerely appreciate our customers' patience and urge their continued safety, particularly around downed power lines. We have thousands of workers in the field and ready to work around the clock until every one of our customers has their power back on."
FPL crews worked through the night, helped by in- and out-of-state workers from other utilities and electrical contractors. They restored service to more than 230,000 customers in between bands of severe weather when it was safe to do so and they'll continue to work around the clock to restore customers' power safely and quickly.
FPL expects to restore power to all customers in Miami-Dade and Broward counties and to the majority of customers in Palm Beach County by end of day Friday, Oct. 7, with all customers in Palm Beach County restored by Saturday, Oct. 8.
Within a few hours after the storm clears Central and North Florida, FPL will communicate estimates of when customers in that region will have their power restored.
FPL continues to remind its customers of the need to be cautious before, during and after any storm. Stay away from flooded areas and debris, and stay alert to and away from downed power lines, which could be energized and dangerous. Importantly, treat highway intersections as four-way stops where stop lights are out of service due to a loss of power.